Monday, June 02, 2008

Another county tax increase on the ballot in Nov?

Two years after the defeat of 2006 Measure A, the county is once again considering placing some type of a tax or fee increase in November to fill the shortfalls in the county's budget.

Included in the staff report is the "lessons learned" from the failed 2006 Measure A campaign. The first lesson, quoted in the Mercury News article, is that Measure A was "An awkward marriage of two unrelated issues: transportation and healthcare." The second lesson is "The perception of a backroom deal between the County and VTA that undermined voter trust and linked the issues to other concurrent scandals."

The county can still insist there was no backroom deal, but if that Measure A had passed, it was certain that SVLG would do whatever necessary to pressure the county into transferring funds to VTA for BART to San Jose.

Although the report didn't explicitly say so, Measure A failed largely because of the partnership with Carl Guardino, who suggested that the county would not pass its own tax without his group's participation:

"Most voters first heard about the tax proposal through a series of news articles in early January 2006 that focused on a backroom deal with VTA, built around private polling conducted by supporters of extending Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to San Jose. As Measure A was unveiled to voters, the focus should have been on the failing healthcare system in Santa Clara County and the risk of losing vital trauma services, mental health services, child protective services, emergency preparedness and response, and healthcare access."

Two years later, the county isn't the only entity interested in a county-wide tax increase. VTA, who would've shared revenue with the county two years ago, is now all on its own. That same dilemma comes back: that having a county tax and a VTA tax on the same ballot will render the VTA tax, if not both, unwinnable.

Carl Guardino, who wants to spend billions on construction contracts to feed the downtown delusionals, suddenly becomes all conservative about county taxes as quoted in the Mercury News: "We're living in a time nationally and statewide where folks are very, very concerned about the economy. People need to have the 'WIIFM' - What's-In-It-For-Me."

We know what's in the county tax for Carl Guardino: A guarantee that a VTA tax will fail at the ballot box.

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