“Founded by Kentfield’s Mimi Willard, COST, unlike most California taxpayer groups, doesn’t automatically make negative recommendations on every tax measure. That delivers credibility especially when the recommendation is positive. It also gives those ideologically opposed to all government-sponsored ballot measures a fit.”
“The all-volunteer group is active year-round endeavoring to nudge proponents of ballot measures to meet its criteria for support.
Its standards include equitability, transparency and sunset clauses. It supports only progressive parcel taxes levied per square foot of structure or per dwelling unit. Measures should include exemptions for seniors, disabled people and those with low incomes. COST opposes parcel taxes where each property owner pays the same whether it’s for a studio condo or a mall. Voters deserve the truth about a tax’s proposed use. All taxes need a realistic sunset date: 10 years for parcel taxes and 30 years for bonds. The tax’s use needs to meet basic cost-benefit ratios.”