A ballot measure to increase HMB sales tax?


Posted by on Mon, August 30, 2010

What insanity is this? Raise the sales tax by 1% and drive even more shoppers over the hill. I think that this will kill Main Street shopping for good. Rather than save Half Moon Bay from bankruptcy, I expect it will create a ghost town. Just my opinion.

How far would you drive to save $1.00 on a $100 grocery bill, or $.03 on a latte?

Comment 2
Tue, August 31, 2010 3:14pm
Bob Poole
All my comments

At least to San Mateo, as we do so often now, and it wouldn’t be just $1.00 on groceries.

Sales taxes in San Mateo County communities:
9.25%  Atherton
9.25%  Belmont
9.25%  Brisbane
9.25%  Burlingame
9.25%  Colma
9.25%  Daly City
9.25%  East Palo Alto
9.25%  El Granada
9.25%  Emerald Hills (Redwood City)
9.25%  Foster City
9.25%  Half Moon Bay
9.25%  Hillsborough
9.50%  Hillsdale (San Mateo)
9.25%  La Honda
9.25%  Ladera
9.25%  Loma Mar
9.25%  Marsh Manor
9.25%  Menlo Park
9.25%  Millbrae
9.25%  Montara
9.25%  Moss Beach
9.25%  Pacifica
9.25%  Pescadero
9.25%  Portola Valley
9.25%  Redwood City
9.25%  San Bruno
9.25%  San Carlos
9.25%  San Gregorio
9.50%  San Mateo
9.25%  South San Francisco
9.25%  Woodside

Comment 4
Tue, August 31, 2010 4:49pm
Bob Poole
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Thanks for the heads up about San Mateo

Comment 5
Thu, September 9, 2010 7:00pm
Jude Damasco
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You make an excellent point about the real savings associated with driving over the hill. That is, it would hardly be worth the trouble and would likely end up being a more expensive venture. However, you should note that groceries are exempt from sales tax so there would be no savings, from a reduced sales tax rate, by driving over the hill to purchase groceries. I myself wonder what, if any, the real effect on merchants in HMB would be if the tax if raised by 1%. I suspect the effect would ultimately be minor in terms of lost sales. I also think the proposed tax is for a limited time and sunsets after 7 years, but I am not positive on this point.

take care

Comment 6
Fri, September 10, 2010 12:31pm
Ken Johnson
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You make a very nice ‘analytical’ argument – unfortunately, most people make their decisions on behaviour by ‘perception’ or ‘emotion’.

People will more likely purchase an item priced at $9.99 than they will purchase the same item priced at $10.01 – it may not pass your analytical analysis but it is reality!

BTW, very nice chart – it provides clear evidence that HMB will the most expensive in the area at 10.25%.

“Last Rites” will be said on Main Street if passed!


Comment 7
Sat, September 11, 2010 7:16am
Bob Poole
All my comments

If the latte is “to go”, there is no sales tax anyway. There is no sales tax on most hot beverages to go in California, although many shops don’t adhere to this.

As far as groceries being free of tax, in our case, close to half of the bill is on taxable items.

I think some businesses who sell higher end items will be hit hard. What about James Ford? What effect will this have on the already sagging real estate market?

The article in the County Times pointed out that the Beechwood bond dept would likely become leans on HMB property owners, but aren’t they going to end up paying that one way or the other?

I have to agree with Ken


Comment 8
Sat, September 11, 2010 8:43am
Barry Parr
All my comments

Bob, if you don’t support the sales tax, what’s your solution?

Dissolution of the city? That’s certainly not preferable to a sales tax increase.

Austerity?  Eliminate parks & rec, outsource the cops, sell Beachwood and maybe City Hall in the middle of a real estate collapse?

Maybe I’m just another socialist Muslim, but neither of those alternatives seems preferable to paying an extra quarter on a bag of groceries or squeezing James Ford’s margins on F250’s.

Comment 9
Sat, September 11, 2010 9:30am
Bob Poole
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Well Barry, I don’t have a vote because I am not a resident. If I were, dissolution would be my choice.

Comment 10
Sat, September 11, 2010 12:26pm
Jude Damasco
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I strongly agree with Barry, and I am neither a socialist nor a Muslim…not that I have a problem with either. But as a resident and business owner in Half Moon Bay I think it would a shame to let this happen to HMB over a 1% increase in sales tax for a seven year period.

To Barry’s point and that of another poster, the increase in sales tax would not the amount of sales tax a non-resident of HMB would pay on the purchase of a ford from James Ford. Why? Because when an automobile is purchased in California, a California resident pays the sales tax based upon their county of residence. So the sales tax increase would only impact James Ford sales of cars with respect to HMB residents only. I sense their market extends beyond HMB.

Other than dissolution, can someone offer a better solution?

Comment 11
Sat, September 11, 2010 4:03pm
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I feel a marketing campaign coming on: Visit the dissolute Coastside!

Comment 12
Sat, September 11, 2010 4:56pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

Other than dissolution, can someone offer a better solution?

Um…Appeal the Beachwood decision? Draft a relief bill less mind-bogglingly stupid than AB1991 and not spend a million dollars in a vain attempt to get it passed? Dissolve the city before issuing bonds to pay off Chop Keenan?

It would appear that the only alternatives I can think of involve the use of a time machine.