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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Paso_citizen

Measure J needs to be defeated. It is nothing more than one more grab at taxpayers money, solely because we do not have elected representatives that know how to say NO.


No matter what issue or problem comes up, the only solution ever considered is to get more

money from the taxpayers.


Consider what this additional tax means. It means that our county leaders do not have the

gumption to stand up for this county, The state, evidently, refuses to use current tax revenue the way it is supposed to be used; so therefore the county rolls over and says “OK, we will gladly continue to send our money to Sacramento without getting the services in return that the tax money was supposed to pay for. And to make up for that, we want all of the taxpayers to pony up more revenue to fix those things the state will not fix, yet continues to take our money.”


Measure J might make a little sense, if it included the clause that. those counties that

wish to become self-funded would be allowed to send less tax revenue to the state. But nowhere can this be found when reading this measure.


Vote NO on Measure J and on all other tax increases. The state will never stop grabbing, until it becomes painfully obvious that some other method is used. Governments are no different that individuals or families. Use what you have wisely – stop hitting upon the taxpayers to pay for your mistakes.


Josey Wales

“The power to tax is the power to destroy.”


No on Measure J


shelworth

Don’t worry, when Hillary is elected the Federal taxes will go way down. What? Really? OK, never mind.


Ricky2

This is the same old BS. Cuesta College bombarded us with “information” prior to their bond vote. SLO did same prior to Measure G vote. Using taxpayer funds to propagandize taxpayers is wrong, but seems to be the SLO Way.


Robert1

NO MORE TAXES !


Pelican1

Who didn’t see this coming?????


catdude

I’m glad to see the county called out on this. I received the “information” pamphlet and thought it read like a promotional pamphlet; I looked in vain for an opposing opinion in the rag. I immediately wondered about public funds being spent on this. Kudos to HJTA and CCTA!


MBwaiter

So, Rita Neal, our County Counsel, is running around using taxpayers money to represent Adam Hill in his private legal battles and now she is allowing government funds to be illegally used and allowing employees to violate campaign laws. When does the madness stop and the Board of Supervisors fire this incompetent attorney ?? Jim Linholm would not have let this happen.


kayaknut

My guess is Rita Neal will getting a nice raise real soon. It’s the government way.


just the facts

Yep! It is the government’s way! Ron DeCarli, Executice Director of SLOCOG, just got a 5% raise last week from the majority of the SLOCOG board.


Thank you to Supervisors Debbie Arnold, Lynn Compton and Frank Mecham for looking out for the taxpayers of this county and voteing NO on DeCarli’s raise.


Those who voted YES on the 5%raise are:

Supervisor Bruce Gibson

Supervisor Adam Hill

Arroyo Grande City Council Member Jim Guthrie

Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley

Grover Beach Mayor John Shoals

Morro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons

Paso Robles City Councilmember Fred Strong

Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham

San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx


Hey, it’s not their money! It’s yours! They seem to forget this!


And while you’re at it…VOTE NO ON J!


rukidding

Measure J is nothing more than a scam on the taxpayers. SLOCOG which has lost most of its funding is reaching out to the locals to support them due to the loss of the funding. In the past SLOCOG has given themselves a 8% increase in pay and recently granted a significant pay raise to their Executive Officer, so you can see where a good portion of the money will be going. Then look at who is supporting Measure J? It’s all of the large developers, large construction companies, large engineering firms and most of the local elected officials who sit on the SLOCOG Board. To this date over $200,000 has been collected to support Measure J. As they say, FOLLOW THE MONEY. Should this measure pass it’s a windfall of funds for these folks to make large profits and to promote politicians using our pocketbooks.

The Howard Jarvis folks and the Central Coast Taxpayers Association are correct in challenging SLOCOG. Your taxes paid $45,000 for a mailer in support of Measure J that was mailed out to every household in the county. Would equal funds be available for a mailing for those who may oppose Measure J? This is just another example of the the unethical and illegal events that occur in this county. Unfortunately the FPPC will more than likely do anything that will reflect on the outcome of this election.