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Local Tax Measures Flood Bay Area Ballots

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Ballot Machine

Ballot Machine (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The budget mess in Sacramento will be reflected at the polls next Tuesday, with an explosion in the number of local tax measures that will be decided on the ballot.

In the Bay Area, there are 43 local tax measures, 35 school bond or tax measures and four calls to increase vehicle registration fess.

And those numbers don’t even include five proposals to tax marijuana.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

The rush in tax measures has anti-tax advocates like Doug McNea with the Silicon Valley Taxpayers’ Association up in arms.

“They couldn’t increase taxes in Sacramento, so it’s been pushed down to the local level,” he said.

McNea said the trend is akin to a death by a thousand taxes.

“That’s why we’ve gone to the trouble of drafting ballot arguments as best we could to oppose all of them,” McNea said.

But supporters of some of the fee hikes said they have no choice but to look for local sources of income since the state continues to raid city and county governments.

“It does say something about Sacramento. Sacramento legislature is polling at a nine percent approval rating,” said Carl Guardino, president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “We are year after year of budgets not being passed on time and glossed over when they are passed.”

Guardino and his group support measures in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties that would boost the vehicle license by ten dollars annually to pay for transportation improvements.

He said people need to act in the face of the challenges posed by Sacramento.

“We’re going to do it locally, we’re going to do it with accountability, we’re going to do it with a transparency,” Guardino said.

And the state budget crisis may not be over. One credit agency is projecting in the next fiscal year, California will face a budget deficit that is at least $12 billion.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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