CO$T Endorses Voting YES on Measure B (Larkspur Essential Services Sales Tax)
October 6, 2017
Kentfield, CA: The Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers — a nonprofit non-partisan advocacy group protecting the rights and interests of Marin taxpayers – recommends voting YES ON MEASURE B (Larkspur Essential Services Sales Tax).
CO$T’s leadership group gave the thumbs up on Measure B owing to the compelling urgency of Larkspur road repairs, to which the measure’s sponsors promise to commit at least 80% of the proceeds. Larkspur’s roads currently have the worst Pavement Condition Index in Marin.
Measure B extends and increases Larkspur’s existing essential services sales tax, “Measure C”, which expires in 2019. While over 90% of Measure C funds have been spent on roads, there remains a sizable maintenance backlog. Under Measure B, Larkspur’s essential services sales tax rate would increase from 0.5% to 0.75% (raising Larkspur’s total sales tax rate to 9.0%). This proposed increase and the elimination of the sunset date enable debt issuance sufficient to bring all Larkspur Roads up to snuff within five years, according to the measure’s sponsors.
Larkspur’s commitment to quickly resolve its deteriorated road conditions overcame CO$T’s reservations about other elements of Measure B. CO$T’s Sensible Tax Principles call for each tax to have a project-appropriate limited lifetime. CO$T also believes any tax targeted for a special use (e.g., roads) should respect the intent of Proposition 218, which requires special tax measures to gain 2/3 of voters’ approval (rather than a simple majority). Measure B does not sunset and the revenues go into the general fund before being disbursed to road projects.
CO$T commends Larkspur City Council for extensive community outreach and transparency on Measure B. This swayed many constituents and interest groups, as well as members of CO$T’s leadership group. Larkspur citizens should “trust but verify” that future City Councils continue to dedicate the promised 80+% to road maintenance.
About CO$T: The Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers advocates on behalf of Marin taxpayers, who deserve a seat at the table. CO$T has over 500 engaged supporters; organizes participation in public hearings; hosts educational events and public fora; and has opinion pieces regularly published by the Marin IJ and MarinPost.