At its special meeting in December, the Transportation Authority of Marin’s consultant-lobbyist, Gus Khouri, proposed to help TAM get a sales tax increase. As a first step, the lobbyist would give state Sen. Mike McGuire draft legislation that Khouri labeled “innocuous.”
Synonyms for that word include harmless, innocent, unobjectionable, nontoxic.
What’s transpired since then has been anything but.
TAM’s high-pressure machination to double its local revenue through a half-cent countywide sales tax hike has trampled transparency. It has set off toxic confrontations among city council members and eroded public trust.
On Jan. 24, in a bitterly divided 3-2 vote, Novato’s City Council approved the following agenda item, the opaque language of which came verbatim from TAM:
“Consideration of support for the Transportation Authority of Marin in their effort to remove a state procedural obstacle to allow a community conversation and maximum flexibility for local jurisdictions.”
What’s that “state procedure?” It’s a statewide sales tax cap that exists to protect low-income residents and small businesses.