SLO County accused of using taxpayer money to push sales tax

October 20, 2016

slo county signA pair of taxpayers associations have filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) alleging San Luis Obispo County and the county’s regional transportation agency illegally used taxpayer dollars to promote a sales tax initiative on the November ballot.

The tax initiative, Measure J, would raise sales taxes countywide by half a percentage point. Revenue potentially raised from the measure is supposed to go to transportation projects.

In the FPPC complaint, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) and the Central Coast Taxpayers Association (CCTA) allege SLO County and the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) used nearly $250,000 of taxpayer money on Measure J promotional materials and on pay to government employees and a consultant who have worked to promote the Yes on J campaign. The county and SLOCOG violated disclosure laws by failing to report the funds, according to the complaint.

Officials sent registered voters in the county Measure J-related materials in a ballot pamphlet. HJTA and CCTA allege the material urged voters to support Measure J.

State law allows government agencies to send voters “informational only” material about ballot initiatives. The taxpayer associations contend the Measure J materials were not “informational only.”

Additionally, HJTA and CCTA allege government employees and the consultant worked with the Yes on Measure J campaign and sought endorsements of the ballot measure from civic organizations in the county.

Chuck Bell, of the law firm Bell, McAndrews and Hiltachk, is representing HJTA and CCTA. The law firm specializes in California political law.

If adopted, the sales tax would last nine years and raise approximately $25 million annually for transportation projects and traffic reduction efforts. Two thirds of county voters must support the initiative in order for it to pass.







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20 Comments

  1. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    Thank you Central Coast Taxpayers and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

    Measure J is just another scam. Vote NO! Our government has more than enough money for roads, between gas taxes, vehicle registration fees, commercial truck fees, etc., and let’s not forget all those local sales tax increases that were supposed to fix our streets. Unfortunately local governments would rather fund just about anything other than roadwork or sidewalks. Maintenance and new work can always be postponed because something else is more pressing or more politically appealing,

    Don’t give them more money to waste. No on J!

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  2. SLOBIRD says:

    So Governor Brown is talking about raising the gas tax in this State and then he won;t the cities and counties in this State the money due us and we are willing to impose a new tax on the same service that will be collected by the State and hope that it will send it back to us. REALLY, what is wrong with us?

    I pay a State Gas Tax of $…39 per EVERY GALLON OF TAX I BUY (think about how many gallons are sold in this State daily). Then, the State says there is a shortfall because of costs and efficiency cars so we impose a 1/2 cent local tax in all 7 cities in this County for roads. So, that worked great so now, the County wants to impose a 1/2 PERCENT (a lot different than a 1/2 cent) and all the cities that got our 1/2 cent increase sign on and what more, of course.

    Read the Measure and off the top is 1% for Administrative costs, then we have 10% for bike lanes (notice all the bike clubs are supporting this Measure), then there is trails, walk paths, public transportation (cost of buses, drivers, stop shelters, planners for routes, etc.) and then we have the roads. Does anyone in this County know what a mile of paved road costs? There is not enough money in this Measure to impact our roads! DO NOT BE FOOLED 3 TIMES!!!

    NO ON MEASURE J========Take our recycled money that we pay for all the containers we are still paying $…05 and .10 cent for that the State is now keeping which runs in the millions. DO NOT GIVE GOVERNMENT ANYMORE OF OUR MONEY!

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  3. shelworth says:

    This is kinda like when one government agency fines another government agency, it’s our money they’re using, not theirs. Sometimes I think they just sit around and laugh at us taxpayers.

    (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
  4. just the facts says:

    Just read a comment from one of the other CCN articles that the Yes on J Committee raised some $221,000. Geez! Who’s contributing the big bucks? Any why? It was stated that 74% of those dollars are coming from out of the county for the opportunity to ‘pay to play’ for the lucrative contracts if J passes. Yikes! Guess as taxpayers, we are the ones who will have to pay the 225 million dollar bill. I am voting No on J!

    (14) 14 Total Votes - 14 up - 0 down
    • rukidding says:

      Like I said earlier “FOLLOW THE MONEY”.

      The flyer for yes on J makes its very easy to identify who these people are.

      (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  5. Mike says:

    So, is someone going to be fired or prosecuted for this? Yeah I didn’t think so.

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Come on seriously, given all the other illegal things we know public employees have done and the most they get is a slap on the wrist. We know no responsibility will be taken for this illegal act.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
    • rukidding says:

      No! The SLOCOG Board just gave the Executive Director, Ron DiCarli, a 5% per cent pay raise.
      We need to fire, not re-elect, the politicians who are orchestrating this.

      (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  6. Myself says:

    If you notice the ads use the 3 lanes at Shell beech to show the back log on the highway,what they don’t have any idea about is how to fix it, plus that 3rd lane was built years ago for a truck lane,todays trucks don’t need that lane on such a short hill so everyone else uses it, BUT when that 3rd lane ends at Shell beach all traffic comes to a stand still that way to fix that is get rid of the 3rd lane,all traffic prior to and after that lane flows OK but that 3rd lane jams it all up, they use thta trying to get the uninformed voter to by into their measure J, it won’t fly,J is a rip off tax just like all the rest of the taxes the gooberment trys to get us to buy into,NO more TAXES.

    (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down

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