June 8, 2010 Ballot Recomendations

The Sonoma County Taxpayers’ Association’s primary goal is to act as an advocate for you.   To protect the taxpayer from unjustified taxation and government expenditures.  To this end, the Association takes positions on issues of concern to the taxpayer.   The Board of Directors also takes positions on ballot measures which are believed to have an impact on taxpayers.

For the June 8, 2010 State and Local  election,  the Association recommends the following:


YES on 13 –  Property Tax Exclusion for Seismic Retrofitting. This measure removes a disincentive for certain property owners to make needed seismic improvements.

YES on 14    This measure creates an open primary in which the  top two candidates who receive the most votes in the Primary advance to the General Election. While this measure does not directly impact taxes, it will have the effect of making elected officials more responsive to a broad cross section of voters, rather than narrow special interest lobbies.

NO on 15 –  Lifts the ban on public funding for political campaigns. More importantly, were this measure to pass it would create to tax on free political speech by imposing fees on lobbyists, lobbying firms and lobbyist employers.

NO on 16 –  A self serving proposal by PG&E  to squelch competition by making it difficult for local communities to get in or expand their power business.

NO POSITION on 17 –  This measure makes changes in rules related to auto insurance premiums. It is not a tax issue.


NO on C –   A bond is a loan that must be repaid by a tax increase. A $14 million bond issue on top of a $11 million  2002 approved facility bond.  With $10 million unused of that issue.  The District has not committed to provide an adequate repair/replacement reserves in its current operating budget. Had the District created a reserve for replacement and adequately funded it, there would not have been a need to raise taxes to pay for needs like replacing roofs, and other needs that can be foreseen and planned for. We cannot support a tax increase for any district that does not take the prudent step of planning for knowable, predictable maintenance and replacement needs.

NO POSITION  on D –   This measure makes changes in civil service hiring procedures. It is not a tax issue.


NO on E    Rohnert Park is proposing a half cent sales tax increase.  The City has not reduced costs enough to warrant a large sales tax increase. In particular it has failed to address the key issue of public employee pension costs.


NO on F – Russian River Fire District parcel tax.   Although there maybe a case made for an increase in property taxes the amount of this increase ($140 per single residence and from $70 to $350 for other property) seems excessive.  The tax formula places a disproportionate burden on owners of multi-family properties, which provide much of the affordable housing in the River area. We recommend the District re-evaluate their revenue requirements and come back to the voters with a more realistic proposal.

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