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Posts Tagged ‘sales tax’

It’s a time-honored New Year’s tradition to review all the new laws taking effect starting on January 1. So I thought I’d get a look at new laws affected Rostrafarians in California. I nearly choked on my breakfast when I looked at the number. There are 837 new laws taking effect as of today. Seriously? Our state was so far askew we needed over 800 pieces of legislation passed to patch us up? Holy moly.


A quick note: Most of you (intelligent all) know that starting tomorrow (7/1/11) the California statewide sales tax drops a full 1%. But I’m finding CA businesses that are unaware of the change. Beware.

Perhaps our CA state government is not as good at letting companies know about sales tax REDUCTIONS as it is at informing them about sales tax INCREASES. Just conjecturing . . . .


A fresh face among San Diego’s political wonks is always a welcome sight. So it’s a pleasure to post word that Peter Amaro has been named the new Policy Analyst at the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

Amaro’s brief bio: A native San Diegan (hooray!), Amaro received his Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center.  During his time at Georgetown, he worked as a policy analyst with the Harrison Institute for Public Law, where he focused on land-use regulation and environmental policy issues facing state and local governments.  He was also involved with Georgetown’s Environmental Law Society and Habitat for Humanity student groups.  Prior to his legal studies, he worked for AVID Center, a San Diego-based educational nonprofit organization.  Amaro earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude in Comparative Literature and Society from Columbia University.


The San Diego County Taxpayers Association’s annual Golden Fleece and Golden Watchdog Awards recognizing the best and worst of local government decision-making has become the poliwonk equivalent of the Consumer Electronics Show for techies, Lollapalooza for arty hipsters, or Comic-Con for… you get the idea.

But the Association can’t throw a party and produce those infamous parody videos featuring your favorite elected officials with a dude dressed up as a sheep without your nominations.

Lucky for you, the deadline has been extended to March 1. Find the details and the nomination form here. Self-nominations ARE encouraged!

Award categories include:


Was Mayor Sanders Lying About Critical Need for Prop D Sales Tax?

Short answer — HELL YES!


Authored by Richard Rider

San Diego — It was just three weeks ago that San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders was running carefully orchestrated “town hall meetings” around the city — threatening citizens with death and destruction if we did not approve Prop D — the city sales tax increase.

The frowny faced police chief and fire chief each dutifully stood before audiences and announced inevitable dramatic personnel and service cutbacks if the sales tax didn’t pass. Doomsday was upon us.


Three Types of Lies

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pollster John Nienstedt’s discussion on polling and the reasons polls fail to accurately gauge voter behavior (and what polls can and CANNOT do) has been a hit on the post-election poliwonk social circuit. Among the topics on tap, Nienstedt has provided his insight on the variance in results among the polls conducted over the past few months on Prop D, the recently defeated sales tax initiative.

John generously provided his slide on Prop D so we could share it with Rostra readers. Who says number crunchers are dull?

Competitive Edge Prop D Slide

Prop D Polls - "What, Me Worry?"


Everyone in politics knows the importance of money. Big campaign war chests scare off competitors, get you lots of TV time to say whatever you want, and fund the fees of every consultant in the universe which means your opponent can’t hire the big talent.

So if you’re an underfunded campaign, you’ve got to rely on creativity. Thank God for Flip cameras, cheap editing software, and YouTube.

Comments Off on Got No Campaign Dough? Go Viral! (And Win Swell Prizes)

Having big funding for a campaign is dandy. But when you’re being outspent by the opposition, creativity must step in and take over.

In the case of the campaign against Proposition D, San Diegans Against Government Waste doesn’t have the funds to make the big television ad purchase like the labor union funded campaign in favor of the sales tax. The Yes side’s ads have been running for weeks.

Sure, you can put your ad up on YouTube, and the campaign has done so.


Think most political campaign ads suck? Think you can do better? Now you have the chance, and you could win a really swell prize too.

The No on D campaign has opened up a viral video ad contest asking for people to submit their own “No on D” ads. There aren’t any formal rules, although I’ll advise you right now to do your best not to slander anyone or tell an outright fib. Convince the viewer why he or she should vote against Prop D. Upload your ad to YouTube and send the campaign a link at You’ve got until Monday, October 25 to do it.

Comments Off on Calling All Would-Be Campaign Consultants: No on D Needs YOU
Yes on D Business Supporters, October 14, 2010

Yes on D Business Support News Conference, October 14, 2010

No On D Business Support News Conference, October 6, 2010

No on D Business Support News Conference, October 14, 2010


Volunteer Saturday to Defeat Prop D

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
posted by Carl DeMaio

Please join Councilmember Carl DeMaio and our grassroots team this Saturday, Sept 25 for a few hours to help defeat Prop D — the blank check sales tax increase in the City of San Diego.

Volunteers Needed To Deliver LawnSigns

Saturday, September 25 (9:30am to 4:30pm)

5703 Oberlin Drive, Suite 107 San Diego, CA 92121

Prop D gives city politicians a “blank check” tax increase with no guarantees on how the money will be spent.

Over 800 San Diegans have asked to host a No on D lawn sign in their yard during October.

Comments Off on Volunteer Saturday to Defeat Prop D

I’m curious to know how Jay Goldstone, the Chief Operating Officer of the City of San Diego, can state that the city has had “four years of significant budget reductions.”

This quote is taken from a memo that went around to city department heads on Monday.  Full memo can be found here (quote is in first paragraph).

Below are financial figures for the city by departments over the course of 2003 to 2009.  A few occasional departments show a sporadic reductions, but one doesn’t have to be financial wizard to recognize that they general trend is clearly increased spending year over year.  Such inaccurate language from someone so high up in the private sector would end their career.


The Yes on D campaign in support of the proposed half-cent sales tax increase in the City of San Diego has finally ginned up its efforts, less than eight weeks before election day. I suppose it took that long for the public labor union checks funding the campaign to clear.

Its first news release announced the campaign’s team members. It wasn’t the names that caught my eye. It was the logo. I nearly shot my coffee through my nose when I saw it. Fair warning to you before you take a look:


The No on Prop D campaign has officially launched its website – and has announced a campaign kickoff event for August 25.

The website is at  In addition to providing information on why San Diegans should vote against Prop D, the website asks San Diegans to sign a “petition against higher taxes.”  

On August 25th, the campaign will formally kickoff with a large event at Coles Fine Flooring. The kickoff event boasts a host committee of over 80 civic leaders – drawing from a broad spectrum of San Diego’s communities.  A full copy of the event flier can be accessed here.

Comments Off on No on Prop D Campaign Announces Website Launch and Kickoff Event

Despite Deceptive Editorial, SD CityBeat Supports Sales Tax Increase

Sunday, August 15, 2010
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

In a recent editorial, San Diego CityBeat’s staff claimed to oppose Proposition D, the sales tax increase on the November ballot. But the purported opposition is just a convenient fig-leaf for the tax-and-spend CityBeat “liberals”, as they prepare to endorse the sales tax hike. The “liberals” (I don’t like calling them liberals, as they’re not – they are leftists) rule out cuts while stressing their eagerness to raise taxes and fees. Then after having ruled out any other way of closing the budget gap, they pretend to oppose a tax they’re going to support.

Let’s start from the editorial’s conclusion:


In a move that didn’t catch much of anyone by surprise, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association’s Board of Directors overwhelmingly voted to oppose Proposition D, the City of San Diego’s half-cent sales tax increase which will come before San Diego voters on the November 3, 2010 ballot.

Proposition D imposes a half-cent sales tax increase on all eligible purchases within the City of San Diego if city officials meet certain conditions. It is estimated to raise $103 million in funding annually.

Lani Lutar, President & CEO of the Association, said SDCTA’s board cited the following reasons for its opposition to Proposition D:

Comments Off on Alert the Media: San Diego County Taxpayers Association Opposes Proposition D

When the San Diego city sales tax was first agreed to this week by the city council, there was a short “Breaking News” piece on the U-T website. The next day there were over 200 comments. But what struck me was the OVERWHELMING rejection of the tax by commenters. Normally there is a hyperactive cadre of government employees commenting away (often on govt time), but they seemed reticent to come out and play on this.

Then today (Sunday 8/8/10) the U-T published seven letters to the editor about the city sales tax increase — ALL opposed. And I didn’t write any of ’em!

Comments Off on Evidence the SD sales tax is doomed

Kudos to Rostra blogger Bradley J. Fikes for this post calling out the thinly-veiled message in the U-T that actually precluded the sales tax proponents’ simple message:

“Agree to a sales tax increase or you will die.”

May I suggest we haven’t even begun to be spoon-fed this message. The coming months will be filled with it.

This is the strategy of the City Hall Machine. Keep telling all of us this message over and over until we finally say, “OK, here’s my wallet!”

Comments Off on Our Own Microcosm of Freedom vs. Tyranny: The City Hall Machine vs. The Rest of Us

Jerry Sanders: Complete Failure?

Friday, August 6, 2010
posted by Sunshine

First, a very important tenet for me. I do not use the term “RINO” or take shots at someone’s conservative credentials lightly, I cannot stress that enough. Now that we have that out of the way…

Seriously? Jerry Sanders. Seriously, dude? At this point it isn’t “what have you done for us lately”, it is what have you done for us at all.

I mean that in all seriousness. Looking back at the Mayor’s time in office from the beginning until now is anything really better that wouldn’t have been fixed regardless? San Diego certainly hit a rock-bottom a few years ago and could only improve, but has the Mayor done ANYTHING beyond not setting fire to buildings to improve the city?


This Isn’t Right

Thursday, August 5, 2010
posted by Mr. Murphy

I thought a long while before writing this post. I lived with Mayor Sander’s position on gay marriage. Gave him a pass, for the good of party unity. I was pretty upset with his position on the Arizona law, but largely kept my mouth shut. But this sales tax increase is just too much.


Top 10 Flaws in the San Diego Sales Tax Hike

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
posted by Carl DeMaio

Not surprisingly, the City Council today advanced the dubious Sales Tax Ballot Measure.

Put simply, San Diego taxpayers deserve better than a tax increase masquerading as “reform.”  That’s why we are putting together a broad-based campaign to defeat this deceptive measure – and to articulate a bold and effective reform agenda.

If you are willing to help with the campaign, please email our campaign at ASAP!

As we are getting started, if you could consider a donation, I’d appreciate it!  Here’s an online link:

In the meantime, here’s a TOP TEN LIST of the FLAWS IN THE SALES TAX HIKE


SurveyUSA: 66% oppose sales tax increase in San Diego

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
posted by Thor's Assistant

Thanks to Vince Vasquez for the tip.  To quote Vince from his Twitter post, “SurveyUSA polling data shows 66% of San Diegans oppose sales tax hike, even when tied to vague promises of reform.”

See the poll results


Following up on last night’s post noting that a sales tax increase will not be on the November ballot in Lemon Grove, the lone — but in this case all powerful — holdout provides her thoughts to SD Rostra.  From Councilmember Mary England:

Comments Off on Mary England’s take on her NO vote in Lemon Grove; GOP makes needed comparison to San Diego

Lemon Grove Sales Tax Increase fails to qualify for Ballot

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
posted by Vito Andolini

Three of four Lemon Grove councilmembers voted tonight to place a sales tax increase on the November ballot, but that wasn’t enough as Mary England single-handedly owned the power of veto.

In a city that requires four votes to qualify such a measure, Councilman Jerry Selby’s vacation absence couldn’t have come at a more intriguing time, thus resulting in only three of his colleagues in support.

So, unless Selby can get back to town in time for a special meeting, including proper Brown Act advance notification (mind you), and a resulting four person affirmative vote before the 5 p.m. deadline on Friday, it appears Councilmember England solely owns all the cards in this city.


Save a dollar, get a dollar. It’s a refreshingly simple approach to solving the City of San Diego’s budget problems proffered this morning by San Diego County Taxpayers Association President & CEO Lani Lutar.

Lutar delivered this memo to Mayor Jerry Sanders and member of the San Diego City Council this morning. So far, Councilmember Carl DeMaio has reacted favorably to the proposal, posting the memo on his Twitter feed (@carldemaio).

When I read something this sensible and fair, my cynical mind thinks, “OK, what’s the catch?” The only catch is that everyone needs to come to their senses, play fair, and try to uphold their end of the deal.


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