Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Lawsuit targets sales tax measure

By
From page A1 | March 23, 2014 |

Two Davis men filed a lawsuit last week against the city’s proposed sales tax increase, adding legal drama to the city’s election effort to cover a more than $5 million deficit.

The increase is known as Measure O on the June 3 ballot, and would — all told — raise the city’s sales tax from 8 percent to 8.5 percent.

Roughly 6.5 percent of that tax is mandated to go to state coffers, with another state-required tax of 1 percent to go to city coffers. A previous city sales tax added another 0.5 percent to make the city’s current sales tax 8 percent in total. The city is asking for an additional 0.5 percent sales tax to be added, along with extending the life of the old 0.5 percent sales tax to 2020, instead of 2016.

One central issue in the lawsuit, filed by Jose Granda and Thomas Randall Jr., is in the wording of the city’s ballot measure language, particularly in the use of the term “half cent” versus “half percent.”

Granda and Randall argue that saying a tax is a half-cent tax instead of a 0.5 percent tax is misleading to the voters and should be struck down by the court.

“These are two completely different things,” the lawsuit reads. “It conveys (to) the voter that no matter what you buy, even a $30,000 car purchase or a $30 shirt currently you pay only one ‘half cent,’ while the reality is that a $30,000 car purchase (you) will pay one half of one percent (0.5 percent) or $150 and for the shirt you will pay $0.15.”

The issue may or may not have legal weight. The city of Woodland has a similarly worded tax on the ballot for its voters and has so far not drawn a lawsuit.

“Shall Ordinance No. 1558 which would authorize the city of Woodland to continue to collect a one-quarter cent sales tax for general city services, for a period of eight years, and would not increase taxes, be adopted?”

This is Davis’ Measure O ballot language:

“Shall Ordinance No. 2432, which would authorize the city of Davis to reauthorize and extend the existing half cent sales and use tax for general government purposes and increase the sales and use tax by an additional half cent, for a combined one cent tax, through December 31, 2020, be adopted?”

Harriet Steiner, city attorney for Davis, said she was confident the court would not find merit with the lawsuit.

“We think that the sales tax measure is clear,” she said, adding the term one cent or percent was interchangeable in the minds of voters. “… The sales tax is described the same way it was described the last time it went to the voters.”

Granda and Randall also allege the city’s changing of the ballot language from use of the word “continue” in a previous ballot description of Measure O adopted in February. The council changed that language a month later based on what city staff said were resident concerns about the clarity of the language.

Granda and Randall also fault The Davis Enterprise for temporarily publishing a slightly different version of the ballot language than was enacted by the council in March.

“The public has been bombarded with conflicting information as to the amount of the tax, presented with six different versions of the ballot question all reported (in) The Davis Enterprise, the Davis major newspaper,” the lawsuit reads.

— Reach Dave Ryan at 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Council to hear about drought pricing

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Downtown altercation leads to injuries

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Free beginner yoga class offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    NAMI support group meets May 10

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Dr. G featured on the radio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    End of life doesn’t mean life must end

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    With sincere gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    A wonderful day of service

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Please help Baltimore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

    He can’t give it up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
     
    Dangers from prescription pills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    UCD softball splits with Titans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Making memories at Aggie Stadium

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Marrone opens new greenhouse

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    New firm helps students on path to college

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8