There are many reasons to consider in "Voting No" on Measure Q (see below):
UNREASONABLE AND EXCESSIVE USE OF SPECIAL TAXATION BALLOT MEASURE PROCESS AND THE ESCALATION OF SPECIAL TAX RATES:
The City Council of the City of Davis in addition to the governing bodies of many other local government entities have placed an excessive number of special tax and bond measures on the ballot for voter approval in recent years which have passed as the result of election outcomes and are now in effect and have exacerbated the problem of over taxation facing taxpayers i.e .City of Davis: Measure P: Sales Tax Increase in 2004 (up for a renewal vote this year as Measure Q) and Measure O: Open Space Preservation Tax in 2000, Davis School District Measure Q: Special Tax Assessment in 2007, Davis Library District Measure P: Special Tax in 2007 and. Measure K: Building Modernization Bond in 2000: Davis School District Measure W: Special Tax in 2008 and Los Rios Community College District: Measure A: General Facilities Bond in 2002 and Measure M: General Facilities Bond in 2008. The passage of all these special tax ballot measures in recent elections resulted in an accumulation of an additional approximate amount of property tax of $673.32 per parcel per year beyond the $870.36 local agencies base amount from all these property tax assessments alone causing the total rate of such taxes to escalate exponentially to higher overall rates on non-partially exempted parcels within the Davis City Limits by 44% in addition to Measure Q: the 1/2 cent sales sales tax renewal up for a renewal vote on Tuesday, June 8th. Hence, in 1998, there were just five (5) property tax assessments; now there are nine (9) due to ballot measures that were passed for a wide variety of local government bureaucracies in recent years. Clearly an indication that the rate of taxation has gotten out of control in the City of Davis and it is time that the voters should vote to defeat such measures and reign in this tax raising frenzy among the local government agencies with a position that "Enough is Enough".
NEGATIVE ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF EXCESSIVE RATES OF HIGH TAXATION IN DAVIS:
In the greatest economic downturn since the great depression it is not an appropriate time to be renewing existing tax increases. Many businesses in Davis have recently been forced to close because excessive rent and property taxes have become unaffordable. Water and sewage fees for residents are expected to double. Student fees are going to rise 32% at U.C. Davis. Recently, the Board of Supervisors announced possible plans for a second half-cent sales tax increase which could result in even further tax hikes and the current 1/2 cent higher sales tax rate of increase 8.75% in Davis just compounds this problematic situation further by continuing the ever rising cost of living situation in Davis.
CALIFORNIA (INCLUDING DAVIS) ALREADY HAS THE HIGHEST BASE SALES TAX RATE OF ANY STATE IN THE NATION:
At 8.25%, California already has the highest base state sales tax rate of any state in the nation which can total up to 10.75% with an additional local sales tax amount included of which local Davis residents are subject to paying for the purchase of non-exempt items locally.
EVERY KNOWN TYPE OF TAX EVER KNOWN TO BE AUTHORIZED TO BE COLLECTED BY ANY STATE IS ALREADY LEVIED IN CALIFORNIA:
In California, residents (including the residents of Davis) pay a state sales tax in addition to a state income tax although some states for example, don't levy sales taxes such as Oregon and Nevada and Washington State have no State Income Tax. Therefore the tax burden in California is excessively high because of this situation compared to many other states.
SALES TAXES UNFAIRLY IMPACT THE COST OF LIVING FOR LOW INCOME RESIDENTS:
In general, unlike what is the case with property tax or income tax assessments which can be adjusted under certain legal criterions for lower income residents through refund programs and in some cases with complete exemptions. Sales tax assessments do not provide for such reductions and exemptions and negatively impact the cost of living among low income residents because the basis for assessing sales taxes is based on a percentage of the cost of items purchased without consideration to the personal income status of the purchaser. This situation is especially true in Davis which has the highest cost of living of an city in the local area due to many factors including growth control policies affecting the cost of housing, increases in utility rates etc.
THE CURRENT ADDITION TO THE SALES TAX RATE PLACES SMALL LOCAL DAVIS BUSINESSES AT A COMPETITIVE DISADVANTAGE
If Measure Q passes, the businesses most undermined will be smaller retailers primarily in the core area of Downtown Davis. This is the situation because non-taxable items such as unprepared foods and prescription medicines are largely the stock of larger retailers i.e. big to medium box stores and therefore such larger retailers would not be placed at a competitive disadvantage by the sales tax renewal to the extent of smaller retailers whom sell mostly sales taxable items and face other such disadvantages to bar them from offering customers lower prices such as greater limitations on stock due to smaller retail space, etc. Also, the nearby U.C. Davis campus located in the unincorporated area of Yolo County outside the Davis City Limits currently has a lower sales tax rate of 8.25% one half cent lower than the current sales tax rate in the City of Davis of 8.75% placing the retailers on that campus at a competitive advantage likewise to offer lower prices to customers with the lower sales tax rate.
THE CITY OF DAVIS GOVERNMENT HAS A HISTORY OF FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT AND DOES NOT DESERVE ADDITIONAL REVENUE TO ENCOURAGE FURTHER FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT:
The Supporters of Measure Q claim this sales tax renewal is needed to continue funding “essential city services.” What they do not tell you is that the current financial mess evolved because the City Council irresponsibly approved contracts of $100,000 or more for some city employees. Perhaps the City of Davis would have more money for “infrastructure maintenance and repair and other essential services” if such decisions that were made were not so reckless with Davis resident's (taxpayer's) money initially. Considering the cities’ abysmal record of fiscal mismanagement, Davis residents have no assurances that the mode of “business as usual” in city government will not resume if Measure Q passes. Therefore, we encourage the voters to closely examine the argument in Q’s favor; at no point in their case do they provide any guarantee that the issue of excessive city employee salaries will be addressed.
INACCURATE COMPARISON REGARDING THE TAXATION SITUATION BETWEEN DAVIS AND OTHER CITIES REGARDING THE TAXATION SITUATION:
While the comparison that other cities have identical sales tax rates is accurate in some cases, in hindsight just because other local governments have added half-cent sales tax increases is a red-herring; Davis' needs and the needs of other cities differ (especially given the fact that the overall tax rate with the addition of nine (9) other property tax assessments from passage of recent ballot measures in Davis the overall tax rate for all local taxes included is actually higher than in neighboring cities). Continuing to excessively raise the tax burden on some of the residents of Davis whom are in jeopardy (if they have not already) of losing their home, their job or both is wrong in this recession.
THE DAVIS CITY COUNCIL SHOULD MAKE BUDGETARY DECISIONS THAT AVOID SPENDING BEYOND LOCAL NEED AND MINIMIZE THE BURDEN OF HIGHER RATES OF TAXATION ON LOCAL TAXPAYERS:
Unfortunately, instead of taking the position of restraint regarding spending the general philosophy of the Davis City Council majority is apparently not to and has constantly placed new special tax measures on the ballot along with many other local governing bodies of various locally sensing the likelihood of the passage of such special tax and bond ballot measures which has more often than not proven to be the case resulting in an incentive to excess government spending therefore contributing to budget deficits that are higher than they might otherwise be if responsible spending decisions had been made initially especially during this economic recession.
IN CONCLUSION, VOTE NO ON MEASURE Q, BECAUSE:
As the old adage goes, "you cannot get blood out of a turnip." In this lagging economy with pay cuts, furloughs, or citizens laid-off, it is now time to prioritize where tax revenues will go. The city should respect the fact that Davis residents do not have bottomless pockets. Please consider voting no on Measure Q.
NO ON MEASURE Q CAMPAIGN CONTACT INFORMATION:
For more information regarding the campaign against Measure Q or to contribute. Please contact the following person: Coleman Thomas "Tom" Randall, Jr Head Spokesperson of the No on Measure Q Campaign, affiliated with the Group: Davis Citizens Against Excessive Taxation by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, Davis Citizens Against Excessive Taxation has an interactive group webpage that can be viewed on the Facebook website at the following webpage address (see below):