Santa Clara Measure A

Santa Clara County Initiative – Raises Sales Tax by .125%

 This measure would increase the sales tax throughout the county by .125% to 8.5% (8.75% in Campbell, which is the only city within the County to have a higher tax rate) with funds used to supplement the County’s coffers.  Long-time Readers know that we are not fans of “use” taxes (like sales tax) because they tax all income earners at the same rate.  We also hesitate to raise sales taxes at the city or county level because we think the different sales taxes adversely affect local businesses.  The easiest example is large ticket items like cars, where buyers will often “shop” the best tax rate across geographic locations.

Here, however, we are swayed by two issues.  First, this tax increase is very small – .125% or a little over once cent for every $10 spent ($1 for every $1000 spent etc.) – and second we think there is an increasing need for local funding sources as state and federal governments are increasingly shifting responsibility for services to the county level.  Moreover, the County has already gone through a series of “belt-tightening” measures (including a massive, voluntary roll-back of employee wages and benefits by County employees).   For these reasons, we think this modest tax increase is a positive change.


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