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Danville council set to hear update on new county sales tax

Original post made on Nov 16, 2021

Measure X Community Advisory Board member Kathy Chiverton is set to provide an update to the Danville Town Council on Tuesday about the board's work over the past six months, as well as its findings and recommendations for how to...

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 15, 2021, 8:55 PM

Comments (4)

Posted by Paul Clark
a resident of Danville
on Nov 16, 2021 at 8:32 am

Paul Clark is a registered user.

No matter how much we give them, it's never enough. If it has not already done so, California is "poised" to eclipse New Jersey as the highest-taxed state in the nation. People with money have already left New Jersey, and here we are seeing 500,000 people a year move out (mostly people who are fed up with being fleeced by the government). So in the end, it will be likely that low-income people (those who already have their hands in the taxpayers pockets), will be left here to struggle to foot the bill. Proving once again, that despite all the Measure X's, there is no free lunch.

P.S. this will accelerate once our current government is successful in taking down Proposition 13, causing the collapse of the real estate market here. Try buying a home in Northern Nevada today, that is if you can find one for sale.

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Nov 17, 2021 at 4:47 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

Spot on, Paul.

From the get-go, Measure X was and is a scam. In May, 2019, five County-employee union reps demanded a county-wide sales-tax increase.

Board of Supervisors (BOS) chair John Gioia then suggested consideration of a general tax for County services, needing only a simple majority to pass. He noted that “special legislation” would be needed to raise the local sales-tax cap [i.e., bypassing the 2% statutory cap for local sales taxes, added above the state’s 7.25%].

Concord city got involved, hoping for their own additional half-percent sales tax increase. The scheme then quickly became a tight, behind-scenes Concord/County collaboration. They got state senator Steve Glazer to carry their legislation (which became SB1349), despite Glazer’s campaign promise to “hold the line on taxes.”

In April, 2020, Concord City Manager Valerie Barone e-mailed Contra Costa County’s other city managers to urge that support letters for what later became SB1349 be sent immediately to Sen. Glazer’s office. Her recommended form letter claimed the bill wouldn’t raise the existing 2% cap, saying instead that “the bill simply clarifies existing law for purposes of the current 2% cap on the combined rate of all taxes.”

It didn’t clarify anything. Instead, the doubletalk involved stipulated that the existing half-percent BART tax and the existing half percent County transportation tax wouldn’t count against the 2% cap. At least one Contra Costa jurisdiction was already above the cap (due to earlier “special legislation) and six more jurisdictions would rise above the cap if a new half-percent county-wide tax were to pass).

The Barone letter came to Danville Town Mgr. Joe Calabrigo on April 21, 2020 at 4 PM. An hour later, a “special meeting” of Danville’s Town Council began. The related “Summary of Actions” made no mention of the letter, and no one, including Calabrigo, ever alleged that the matter had been discussed at that meeting.

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Nov 17, 2021 at 4:49 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

The next morning, Calabrigo’s assistant, Diane Friedman, sent the letter back to Judy Lloyd in Glazer’s office, approving the new tax scheme, signed unilaterally by Calabrigo “on behalf of the Town of Danville.”

That bypassed the Town’s Legislative Framework, which calls for a Council (sub)committee “to review… pending/possible legislation” and report recommendations to the entire council. After review — in what would necessarily be a duly noticed meeting wherein citizens could address the matter. Once the entire Council sees officially “that a legislative proposal may impact the Town, a letter outlining the Town’s position will be drafted for the Mayor’s or Town Manager’s signature.”

None of that happened. But obviously, a new half-percent sales-tax increase would impact the Town and its citizens. In fact, a majority of citizens would have rejected the measure, since 56% of Danville voters opposed a related transportation tax just 50 days before the Calabrigo (again, signed unilaterally “on behalf of the Town of Danville) letter went back to Glazer’s office. [Over 57% of Danville’s voters later did reject the measure (to no avail since it passed County-wide)].

With Glazer’s special legislation passed at the last minute, the BOS placed Measure X on the ballot, deceptively packaging it as a “general tax” though its ballot language advertised special purposes to promote the measure to certain voters — thereby requiring only a 50% plus one majority instead of two-thirds affirmative vote.

Measure X then passed last November, with 58.45% of the vote County-wide after SB 1349 allowed every County jurisdiction to exceed the 2% cap on local sales taxes if it wanted. The result for all, however, is a half-percent sales-tax increase, in Danville’s case from 8.25% to 8.75%.

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Nov 17, 2021 at 4:59 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

Danville voted 57.2% AGAINST the measure — demonstrating once again that Calabrigo had NOT acted in a manner consistent with Danville sentiment, nor in accord with Danville’s Legislative Framework.

I discovered and documented (extensively) this series of problems in June 2020. I criticized Calabrigo and Town Council’s ignoring of its own Legislative Framework requirements in two Council meetings, during “For Good of the Town” segments, early in the online meetings of July 7 2020 (Town's online Council meeting video, at 06:14) and July 14, 2020 (Town's online Council meeting video, at 03:00).

But the Council refused my request to rescind the wrongly framed Calabrigo promotion of what became SB1349. Danville’s seeming assent was part of the campaign in the Legislature to move the measure.

Council members Renee Morgan and Newell Arnerich were particularly dismissive in response to my remarks of July 14. Morgan said my complaint had “been addressed.” Arnerich said that Calabrigo had written “copious letters to respond back….”

Well yes, several communications back and forth occurred. But none of the communications from Town Council members or Danville employees to me justified the patent abuse of authority which had occurred, given the explicit terms of the Town’s Legislative Framework. Their communications simply talked around the subject, ignoring the violations of policy which had occurred.

Calabrigo acted unilaterally “on behalf of the Town of Danville.” Town Council, though it still had time in July of 2020 to rescind that Calabrigo letter and to subject the decision on a new letter to the Council’s own written requirements for action — first by its Legislative (sub)committee and then by the entire Council — in properly noticed meetings that would allow for input by the Town’s citizens.

Instead, they simply pretended that everything had been done properly. It hadn’t. It wasn’t even close.

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