Voters surprisingly amenable to taxes

Taxpayers may not be as angry as we thought.

Voters on Tuesday approved local bond and tax measures at a higher rate than in past elections, according to an analysis from the League of California Cities.

That’s probably little comfort to the backers of a road tax in Lafayette, which failed Tuesday. It was the city’s third attempt to pass a tax for road maintenance.

Among the more than 90 local measures on the ballot statewide Tuesday,  53 increased, expanded or extended local taxes or bonds. Here’s a summary of the league’s findings:

  • The overall passage rate of non-school local tax measures in November 2011 was better than that of prior elections over the last decade.
  • Of the 22 majority-vote tax measures, 18 passed (82 percent). Since 2001, 65 percent of majority vote local tax measures have passed.
  • Of the 16 special tax measures requiring two-thirds voter approval, 11 passed (69 percent) exceeding the 46 percent historic passage rate for special taxes and bonds since 2001.

Click here for the league’s full report.


Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    The most urgent CA tax increase is the state gasoline tax, which hasn’t been raised from 18 cents per gallon since the mid-nineties, because of our chicken state legislators.
    This is the tax that will go to repair our crumbling road infrastructure.

  • Mr. Hoffman does not recognize all of the additional dollars that vehicles owners are paying. You can’t just look at one tax. First of all, taxpayers pay a great deal toward roads. In Contra Costa for example, we pay an additional 1/2 cent in sales tax for transportation uses. In addition, sales taxes are applied to gasoline sales, so each gallon of gas has a lot more in taxes applied to it.

    And let’s not forget those bridge toll increases most of which go to things other than roads even though collected by vehicle drivers.

    So let’s not talk about crumbling roads until those dollars quit being diverted from building and repairing them.

  • Elwood

    Kris, can you tell us how much of the tax burden on gas has been stolen by the legislature for other purposes?