A Sign of the End of the Line for SMART?

A Sign of the End of the Line for SMART?

Today, August 5th, the Marin IJ’s Dick Spotswood published an article “Marin close to state cap for sales tax measures”  that Marin’s county and city sales taxes are about to reach their limit of 2% (on top of the existing 7.5% state sales tax).  If (when) sales taxes reach this ceiling this potentially has serious, possibly disastrous consequences for SMART, if not all of Marina and Sonoma’s taxpayers. SMART  polled voters and even though it needed 1/2c to build and run scaled back to 1/4c as the polls showed 1/4c tax raise is all voters would support. But if the sales tax limit cap is reached – and the planes for new taxes that would reach this limit are already stacked up and lining up to land – then this may not be feasible. The alternative is to hike property taxes – which are much harder to get through and place a much greater burden on homeowners(as opposed to people who work in or who are passing through the county but do not live here). Excuse #1: “But It’s Because of the Recession” Already SMART is blaming 2 year delays and cutting line length in half  on the recession. This  is a *phony* argument. Supervisors Arnold and Sears used it just last week in an op ed entitled “SMART’s making steady progress toward starting service“. Then the same excuse was used again today, August 5th, by the chairman of “Friends of SMART” in a Sonoma Press Democrat “In response to the grand jury criticism“. Analyzing the Excuse Sure, the recession reduced sales, but only temporarily. But the recession also significantly...