Novato City Council set to endorse sales tax increase on the 24th?

Novato City Hall – Council Chambers
901 Sherman Avenue
Novato, California
January 24, 2017 6:30 pm

On Tuesday 1/24, the Novato City Council will vote on endorsing a Transportation Authority of Marin proposal to raise the sales tax throughout Marin by 0.5%.

This will take the total sales tax in some Marin jurisdictions to nearly 10%.

Please attend the Novato City Council meeting — 6:30PM, 1/24, at Novato City Hall, Council Chambers, 901 Sherman Avenue — or email your Council Members to speak out against this proposal.   Denise Athas   Josh Fryday   Pam Drew   Pat Eklund   Eric Lucan

Tell Council Members that Novato should not rush to endorse or support a higher sales tax in Marin without taking ample time to solicit and consider constituent opinion.

TAM is pressing Novato for an immediate endorsement, but did not allow the City sufficient time to thoroughly engage constituents before endorsing on their behalf. (On 1/18/17, San Rafael tabled indefinitely TAM’s request for endorsement citing its reluctance to speak on behalf of constituents without enough opportunity to alert them and consider their opinion.)

This is also an important opportunity for concerned citizens to speak up against providing more money to a transportation authority that has not been a prudent or transparent steward of our funds. TAM has proposed to spend its existing 0.5% Measure A “congestion relief” sales tax funds on projects that actually make traffic worse, such as the to the proposed Sir Francis Drake Corridor rehabilitation project. TAM has also sought to “swap” Measure A restricted funds with other agencies (such as its own Marin Transit) in order to spend on projects that are not permitted under Measure A.

If the TAM plan goes through, the agency’s piece of the Marin sales tax pie will double.

Many Marin taxpayers are already financially stressed by the spate of recent local tax increases. Sales taxes are the most regressive, with the burden falling hardest on those who earn the least. TAM’s record does not inspire confidence that the money will be spent primarily on what matters most to voters – improved vehicular traffic flow.

Please attend the January 24 Novato Council meeting to express your opinion.

Further information:

Click on the link below and scroll down to Novato City Council agenda item 13 for specifics.

In that document you will see that TAM is asking Novato to endorse its plan to ask the state to grant Marin a waiver of the current 9.75% sales tax cap in order for TAM to ask voter approval for an additional 0.5% sales tax. That would double TAM’s slice of every taxable transaction to 1.0%. Mike McGuire is sponsoring legislation in the state senate to raise the sales tax cap in Marin. We encourage you to contact his office to object.

Novato City Council set to endorse sales tax increase on the 24th?