Measure Wording

MEASURE X
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

To keep Contra Costa’s regional hospital open and staffed; fund community health centers; provide timely fire and emergency response; support crucial safety-net services; invest in early childhood services; protect vulnerable populations; and for other essential county services, shall the Contra Costa County measure levying a ½ cent sales tax, exempting food sales, providing an estimated $81,000,000 annually for 20 years that the State cannot take, with funds benefitting County residents, be adopted?

COUNTY COUNSEL'S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE X

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has proposed a measure asking voters to approve a countywide retail transactions and use tax – a sales tax – of one-half of one percent (0.5%) to be used for general governmental purposes of Contra Costa County.

If this ballot measure becomes effective, this sales tax will be collected on the gross receipts of sales of personal property in unincorporated Contra Costa County, and in incorporated cities within the county, from April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2041. The sales tax will not be collected on the sale of food or on other transactions that are exempt from the sales tax under state law.

Contra Costa County anticipates that the sales tax will generate $81 million annually. Sales tax proceeds will be deposited into Contra Costa County’s general fund to be used for general governmental purposes of the County. The Board of Supervisors will determine how the funds will be used. The ballot measure indicates that funds from the sales tax could be used to fund the county hospital and health clinics, law enforcement services, fire and emergency services, early childhood education, and/or social services, among other general governmental purposes. This ballot measure does not restrict the use of sales tax proceeds to specific governmental purposes.

The sales tax measure will become effective if a majority of voters voting on this ballot measure approve this ballot measure. If the sales tax measure becomes effective, Contra Costa County’s annual appropriations limit under Article XIIIB of the California Constitution will be increased by the aggregate total of sales tax proceeds in that year.

A “yes” vote is a vote in favor of authorizing this 0.5% sales tax.

A “no” vote is a vote against authorizing this 0.5% sales tax.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure X. If you desire a copy of the measure, please call the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at (925) 655-2000, or email the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at clerkoftheboard@cob.cccounty.us, and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you. You may also access the full text of the measure on the county Web site at the following Web site address: https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/129/Clerk-of-the-Board.

Argument In Favor of Measure X
Vote Yes on Measure X – it’s what Contra Costa County Needs!

We all know what Contra Costa County needs: firefighters, a public hospital and a responsive social safety net. In the midst of the pandemic, public- and community-provided services are stretched like never before. Contra Costa’s regional hospital is facing a $73 million budget gap, fire/emergency services are underfunded, and the social safety net can’t keep up with the needs of our community’s most vulnerable residents and families.

Yes on X funds the services we need, creating millions of dollars in new general revenue to safeguard community health and safety, and enhance essential county programs for all residents. It works by:

  • Establishing a 20-year ½ cent sales tax, excluding food items and medicines, raising an estimated $81 million per year;
  • Creating an oversight committee to review county needs and funding priorities, and conduct an annual audit;
  • Investing in fire and paramedic services to protect residents in emergencies;
  • Keeping our regional hospital open, maintaining adequate staffing and accessible healthcare;
  • Connecting vulnerable residents to essential food, housing and other safety net county and community resources;
  • Funding critical services for children and seniors in our county.

Income loss and growing housing and food insecurities during the current pandemic have crippled the ability of Contra Costa County families to feel secure in meeting their most basic needs. New revenues are now essential to address the needs of Contra Costa residents and families, creating a healthy and safe Contra Costa.

Yes on X is supported by a coalition of local businesses, community-based organizations and labor unions representing essential healthcare, fire and emergency professionals, violence prevention and mental health advocates, early childhood educators and other critical safety net service providers.

Please join us and vote Yes on X.

UPFCC Local 1230, Jerry Short, Vice President
PDOCC, David J. MacDonald, MD, President
Healthy and Active Before 5, Ali Uscilka, Director
Faith Leaders Advisory Board, Rev. Dr. Frederick W. Weidmann,
Co-Chair, MultiFaith Action Coalition Choice in Aging, Debbie Toth, President & CEO

Argument Against Measure X

With many facing pandemic-driven financial hardships, now is NOT the time for a sales-tax increase.

Thousands of small businesses closed…. Millions of Californians unemployed…. Those still working often seeing smaller paychecks…. Too many people now face impossible choices in trying to pay for food, rent, healthcare, other necessities — and taxes.

Sales-tax increases like Measure X are REGRESSIVE. They disproportionately burden our poorest and most vulnerable residents, who can least afford it — especially in our very expensive Bay Area.

OTHER MEASURE X FLAWS:

  • Measure X advertises very specific purposes (implying falsely that some are new obligations). But Measure X’s authorizing ordinance reveals that in fact, this tax is “solely for general governmental purposes and not for specific purposes.” So future County supervisors could use Measure X’s 20-year increased millions for raises, pensions, or other unlisted purposes.
  • Measure X is on the ballot only because it’s been enabled by underhanded new state legislation (SB1349) aimed specifically at Contra Costa County taxpayers, allowing the County’s sales-tax cap to increase from 2% effectively to 4% (in addition to the State’s 7.25% rate).
  • Measure X would rocket part of the County to a 10.25% sales-tax rate, some other areas to 9.75% if their own tax increases also pass. Meanwhile, enlarging the County’s sales-tax cap facilitates future new tax-increase campaigns.

MEASURE X’S TAX INCREASE ISN’T NEEDED:

  • Defending SB1349 in an Assembly Committee, the bill’s sponsoring state senator said that “In Contra Costa County, they’re expecting a shortfall of $100 Million.” But 2019-2020’s County budget was already $416 Million (11.4%) higher than in the previous year.
  • Contra Costa County has $345 Million in unassigned funds.
  • $45 Million more becomes available annually in 2022, when certain debt payments end.

Regressive effects… Non-specific purposes… High rates… Legislative trickery… Inflated budgets…
The choice is clear: VOTE NO ON MEASURE X.

More information:
CoCoTax.org and NOonX.info

Contra Costa Taxpayers Association, Susan L. Pricco, President
Sandy Mazza, Registered Nurse, Clayton
Arne Simonsen, City Clerk, Antioch; Former Member, East Contra Costa Transit Authority;
Past President, East Bay Division, League of California Cities
Michael Arata, Co-Founder, Alliance of Contra Costa Taxpayers
Denise Gianni, Homemaker, El Sobrante

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE X

Measure X proponents imply that the COVID-19 pandemic prompted this intended new tax expansion. But in fact, Contra Costa County supervisors were already contemplating a general sales-tax increase by October 2019, months before COVID-19 detection, with new spending not restricted to “specific services.”

They directed their lobbyists to lay groundwork for “special legislation” (which became SB1349), needed to bypass the statutory 2% cap on local sales taxes, and only in Contra Costa County.

As of August 24, when these rebuttal arguments’ were due, SB1349 — exempting some existing local sales taxes from counting against the cap — was still being amended by the Legislature and was not yet law. But County supervisors proceeded with Measure X’s 20-year taxing scheme anyway.

One supervisor predicted Measure X’s family cost averaging “only” $80 annually. For many, that’s a week’s worth of groceries.

SO, WHY IS MEASURE X ON THE BALLOT?

  • Contra Costa County supervisors evidently prefer raising taxes (thereby likely energizing campaign support by employees) — to optimizing expenditures.
  • As an example: Transparent California reveals total 2019 County compensation exceeding $200,000 each for 1770 employees, including 54 individuals exceeding $400,000 each.
  • Measure X proponents hope you’ll ignore existing budget surpluses and prospective new funds anticipated from other current tax campaigns and future new tax measures.
  • Oversight Committee? Measure X’s general tax nature permits detours by that advisory body around advertised special purposes — detours such as redirecting current general-fund dollars to pension debt, while backfilling the general fund with Measure X’s new revenue.

Tell friends, neighbors, contacts: vote NO on Measure X!

More Information:
CoCoTax.org and NOonX.info

Contra Costa Taxpayers Association, Susan L. Pricco, President
Larry Kauble, Retired Maintenance Mechanic, El Sobrante
Arne Simonsen, City Clerk, Antioch; Former Chair, League of California Cities Revenue & Taxation Policy Committee
Michael Arata, Co-Founder, Alliance of Contra Costa Taxpayers
Tom Greerty, Retired Attorney, Martinez

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE X

Vote Yes on Measure X for Contra Costa County’s Needs

Measure X is an investment in the life-saving services our county needs. It means we will have the firefighters, paramedics, and health professionals to respond to emergencies. Measure X will allow Contra Costa County to invest in basic services for our kids, families and seniors that will save taxpayers money in the long run.

This measure would not apply to food or medicine and, if passed, our county will still have a lower tax rate than Alameda County and many other counties in California.

The structure of the measure was developed over the course of months in an open and transparent process. It included community organizations, labor unions, and concerned citizens representing every part of Contra Costa County.

It was clear from this process that our county has a broad range of needs. Measure X will help meet these needs by providing potential funding for firefighting, keeping the regional hospital open, preventing child and elder abuse, and creating opportunities for our children.

Every cent of this tax will be spent IN Contra Costa County on our needs. It CANNOT be taken by the state government or federal government, and local officials accountable to voters will determine how this money is used.

In these times of crisis, our community depends on firefighting, the regional hospital, healthcare workers, first responders, the social safety net, and each other.

Measure X will help fund what Contra Costa County needs.

Please join us in support of Measure X at www.healthyandsafecontracosta.com.

United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County,
Jerry Short, Jr., Vice President
Physicians’ and Doctors’ Organization of Contra Costa,
Nathan Brooks, MD, Executive Board Member
Healthy and Active Before 5, Ali Uscilka, Director
Central Labor Council Contra Costa County, AFL CIO, Joshua Anijar,
Executive Director
Choice in Aging, Debbie Toth, President & CEO

FULL TEXT OF MEASURE X

ORDINANCE NO. 2020-22
(amended)

(An Ordinance of the County of Contra Costa Imposing a Transaction and Use Tax to Be Administered by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration)

The people of the County of Contra Costa ordain as follows:

SECTION I. Chapter 64-18 is added to the Contra Costa County Ordinance Code, to read:

Chapter 64-18
TRANSACTIONS AND USE TAX
Article 64-18.2
General

64-18.202 Title. This ordinance shall be known as the County of Contra Costa Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance. This ordinance shall be applicable in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the County.

(Ord. 2020- 22, § 1).

64-18.20 General Tax. The tax imposed by this chapter is a general tax under Article XIIIC of the California Constitution. The tax imposed by this chapter is enacted solely for general governmental purposes and not for specific purposes. All of the proceeds from the tax imposed by this chapter shall be placed in the County’s general fund and used for general governmental purposes.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

64-18.206 Operative Date. “Operative Date” means the first day of the first calendar quarter commencing more than 110 days after the adoption of this ordinance by the voters, the date of such adoption being as set forth below.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

64-18.208 Purpose.

This ordinance is adopted to achieve the following purposes:

  1. To impose a retail transactions and use tax in accordance with the provisions of Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code and Section 7285 of Part 1.7 of Division 2 which authorizes the County to adopt this tax ordinance which shall be operative if a majority of the electors voting on the measure vote to approve the imposition of the tax at an election called for that purpose.
  2. To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that incorporates provisions identical to those of the Sales and Use Tax Law of the State of California insofar as those provisions are not inconsistent with the requirements and limitations contained in Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
  3. To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that imposes a tax and provides a measure therefor that can be administered and collected by the California Department of Tax  and Fee Administration in a manner that adapts itself  as fully as practicable to, and requires the least possible deviation from, the existing statutory and administrative procedures followed by the California Department of  Tax and Fee Administration in administering and collecting the California State Sales and Use Taxes.
  4. To adopt a retail transactions and use tax ordinance that can be administered in a manner that will be, to the greatest degree possible, consistent with the provisions of Part 1.6  of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, minimize the cost of collecting the transactions and use taxes, and    at the same time, minimize the burden of record keeping upon persons subject to taxation under the provisions of this ordinance.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

Article 64-16.4
Transactions and Use Tax

64-18.402 Transaction Tax Rate. For the privilege of selling tangible personal property at retail, a tax is hereby imposed upon all retailers  in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the County at the rate of one half of one per cent (0.5%) of the gross receipts of any retailer from the sale of all tangible personal property sold at retail in said territory on and after the operative date of this ordinance.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

64-18.404 Place of Sale. For the purposes of this ordinance, all retail sales are consummated at the place of business of the retailer unless the tangible personal property sold is delivered by the retailer or his agent to an out-of-state destination or to a common carrier for delivery to an out-of-state destination. The gross receipts from such sales shall include delivery charges, when such charges are subject to the state sales and use tax, regardless of the place to which delivery is made. In the event a retailer has no permanent place of business in the State or has more than one place of business, the place or places at which the retail sales are consummated shall be determined under rules and regulations to be prescribed and adopted by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

64-18.406 Use Tax Rate. An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in the County of tangible personal property purchased from any retailer on and after the operative date of this ordinance for storage, use or other consumption in said territory  at the rate of one half of one per cent (0.5%) of the sales price of the property. The sales price shall include delivery charges when such charges are subject to state sales or use tax regardless of the place to which delivery is made.

Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

64-18.408 Adoption of Provisions of State Law. Except as otherwise provided in this ordinance and except insofar as they are inconsistent with the provisions of Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, all of the provisions of Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code are hereby adopted and made a part of this ordinance as though fully set forth herein.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

64-18.410 Limitations on Adoption of State Law and Collection of Use Taxes.

In adopting the provisions of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code:

  1. Wherever the State of California is named or referred to as the taxing agency, the name of this County shall be substituted therefor. However, the substitution shall not be made when:

(1) The word “State” is used as a part of the title of the State Controller, State Treasurer, State Treasury, or the Constitution of the State of California;
(2) The result of that substitution would require action to be taken by or against this County or any agency, officer, or employee thereof rather than by or against the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, in performing the functions incident to the administration or operation of this Ordinance.
(3) In those sections, including, but not necessarily limited to sections referring to the exterior boundaries of the State of California, where the result of the substitution would be to:

(A) Provide an exemption from this tax with respect to certain sales, storage, use or other consumption of tangible personal property which would not otherwise be exempt from this tax while such sales, storage, use or other consumption remain subject to tax by the State under the provisions of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, or;

(B) Impose this tax with respect to certain sales, storage, use or other consumption of tangible personal property which would not be subject to tax by the state under the said provision of that code.

4. In Sections 6701, 6702 (except in the last sentence thereof), 6711, 6715, 6737, 6797 or 6828 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

b. The word “County” shall be substituted for the word “State” in the phrase “retailer engaged in business in this State” in Section 6203 and in the definition of that phrase in Section 6203

    1. “A retailer engaged in business in the County” shall also include any retailer that, in the preceding calendar year or the current calendar year, has total combined sales of tangible personal property in this state or for delivery in the State by the retailer and all persons related to the retailer that exceeds five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). For purposes of this section, a person is related to another person if both persons are related to each other pursuant to Section 267(b) of Title 26 of the United States Code and the regulations thereunder.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

64-18.412 Permit Not Required. If a seller’s permit has been issued to a retailer under Section 6067 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, an additional transactor’s permit shall not be required by this ordinance.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

64-18.414 Exemptions and Exclusions.

  1. There shall be excluded from the measure of the transactions tax and the use tax the amount of any sales tax or use tax imposed by the State of California or by any city, city and county, or county pursuant to the Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law or the amount of any state- administered transactions or use
  2. There are exempted from the computation of the amount of transactions tax the gross receipts from:

(1)  Sales of tangible personal property, other than fuel or petroleum products, to operators of aircraft to be used or consumed principally outside the County in which the sale is made and directly and exclusively in the use of such aircraft as common carriers     of persons or property under the authority of the laws of this State, the United States, or any foreign government.

(2)  Sales of property to be used outside the County which is shipped to a point outside the County, pursuant to the contract of sale, by delivery to such point by the retailer or his agent, or by delivery by the retailer to a carrier for shipment to a consignee at such point. For the purposes of this paragraph, delivery to a point outside the County shall be satisfied

        1. With respect to vehicles (other than commercial vehicles) subject to registration pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 4000) of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, aircraft licensed in compliance with Section 21411 of the Public Utilities Code, and undocumented vessels registered under Division 3.5 (commencing with Section 9840) of the Vehicle Code by registration to an out-of-County address and by a declaration under penalty of perjury, signed by the buyer, stating that such address is, in fact, his or her principal place of residence; and
        2. With respect to commercial  vehicles,  by registration to a place of business out-of-County and declaration under penalty of perjury, signed by the buyer, that the vehicle will be operated from that address.

(3) The sale of tangible personal property if the seller is obligated to furnish the property for a fixed price pursuant to a contract entered into prior to the operative date of this ordinance.

(4) A lease of tangible personal property which is a continuing sale of such property, for any period of time for which the lessor is obligated to lease the property for an amount fixed by the lease prior to the operative date of this ordinance.

(5) For the purposes of subparagraphs (3) and (4) of this section, the sale or lease of tangible personal property shall be deemed not to be obligated pursuant to a contract or lease for any period of time for which any party to the contract or lease has the unconditional right to terminate the contract or lease upon notice, whether or not such right is exercised.

c. There are exempted from the use tax imposed by this ordinance, the storage, use or other consumption in this County of tangible personal property:

 1. The gross receipts from the sale of which have been subject to a transactions tax under any state- administered transactions and use tax ordinance.

2. Other than fuel or petroleum products purchased by operators of aircraft and used or consumed by such operators directly and exclusively in the use of such aircraft as common carriers of persons or property for hire or compensation under a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued pursuant to the laws of this State, the United States, or any foreign government. This exemption is in addition to the exemptions provided in Sections 6366 and 6366.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code of the State of California.

3. If the purchaser is obligated to purchase the property for a fixed price pursuant to a contract entered into prior to the operative date of this ordinance.

4. If the possession of, or the exercise of any right or power over, the tangible personal property arises under a lease which is a continuing purchase of such property for any period of time for which the lessee is obligated to lease the property for an amount fixed by a lease prior to the operative date of this ordinance.

5. For the purposes of subparagraphs (3) and (4) of this section, storage, use, or other consumption, or possession of, or exercise of any right or power over, tangible personal property shall be deemed not to be obligated pursuant to a contract or lease for any period of time for which any party to the contract  or  lease  has  the  unconditional  right   to terminate the contract or lease upon notice, whether or not such right is exercised.

6. Except as provided in subparagraph (7), a retailer engaged in business in the County shall not be required to collect use tax from the purchaser of tangible personal property, unless the retailer  ships or delivers the property into the County or participates within the County in making the sale of the property, including, but not limited to, soliciting or receiving the order, either directly or indirectly, at a place of business of the retailer in the County or through any representative, agent, canvasser, solicitor, subsidiary, or person in the County under the authority of the retailer.

7. “A retailer engaged in business in the County” shall also include any retailer of any of the following: vehicles subject to registration pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 4000) of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, aircraft licensed in compliance with Section 21411 of the Public Utilities Code, or undocumented vessels registered under Division 3.5 (commencing with Section 9840) of the Vehicle Code. That retailer shall be required to collect use tax from any purchaser who registers or licenses the vehicle, vessel, or aircraft at an address in the County.

d. Any person subject to use tax under this ordinance may credit against that tax any transactions tax or reimbursement for transactions tax paid to a County imposing, or retailer liable for a transactions tax pursuant to Part 6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code with respect to the sale to the person of the property the storage, use or other consumption of which is subject to the use tax.

(Ord. 2020- 22, § 1).

Article 64-18.6
Administration

64-18.602 Amendments. All amendments subsequent to the effective date of this ordinance to Part 1 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code relating to sales and use taxes and which are not inconsistent with Part 1.6 and Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and all amendments to Part 1.6 and Part 1.7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, shall automatically become a part of this ordinance, provided however, that no such amendment shall operate so as to affect the rate of tax imposed by this ordinance.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

64-18.604  Enjoining Collection Forbidden.   No injunction or writ   of mandate or other legal or equitable process shall issue in any suit, action or proceeding in any court against the State or the County, or against any officer of the State or the County, to prevent or enjoin the collection under this ordinance, or Part 1.6 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, of any tax or any amount of tax required to be collected.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

64-18.606 Termination Date.  The authority to levy the tax imposed by this ordinance shall expire on March 31, 2041 and as of that date it shall be repealed by operation of this section unless a later ordinance is adopted prior to March 31, 2041 that shall have the effect of deleting or extending the termination date set forth herein.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 1).

SECTION II Severability. If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the ordinance and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

(Ord. 2020-22. § 2).

SECTION III Effective Date.

A. The Board of Supervisors passed this ordinance on August 4, 2020, and approved submitting this ordinance to the voters at an election to be held on November 3,  2020. Within 15 days after passage by the Board of Supervisors, this ordinance shall be published in a manner satisfying the requirements of Government Code Section 25124, with the names of supervisors voting for and against it.  If adopted  by a majority of the voters voting on the ordinance at an election on November 3, 2020, this ordinance shall take effect immediately, pursuant to Elections Code section 9141.

B. At the time that this ordinance was passed by the Board of Supervisors, Senate Bill 1349 (2020) was pending approval in the California Legislature. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, this ordinance shall only become effective if Senate Bill 1349 is approved by the Legislature on or before August 31, 2020, and thereafter becomes law, and if this ordinance is adopted by the voters.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 3; Ord 2020-23 § 2).

SECTION IV Contract with State. Prior to the operative date, the County shall contract with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to perform all functions incident to the administration and operation of this transactions and use tax ordinance; provided, that if the County shall not have contracted with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration prior to the operative date, it shall nevertheless so contract and in such a case the operative date shall be the first day of the first calendar quarter following the execution of such a contract.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 4).

SECTION V Adjustment of Appropriations Limit. Pursuant  to Article XIIIB of the Constitution of the State of California and applicable laws, the appropriations limit for the County is hereby increased by the aggregate sum authorized to be levied by this tax for fiscal year 2020- 21 and each year thereafter.

(Ord. 2020-22, § 5).

PASSED by the Board of Supervisors by the following vote:

AYES: John Gioia, Diane Burgis, Karen Mitchoff, Federal Glover

NOES: Candace Andersen

ABSENT: None

ABSTAIN: None

ATTEST:                         DAVID J. TWA,

Clerk of the Board of Supervisors and County Administrator

________________
Board Chair Candace Andersen

By:                                    ________________                                                          [SEAL]

Deputy June McHuen