A local taxpayers' group on Wednesday lost its bid for an appellate court review of a Santa Clara County judge's decision that will allow a one-eighth cent sales tax measure to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association contends the measure violates a section of Proposition 218, which the group says requires a sales tax measure to appear in a regularly scheduled general election along with local candidates -- in this case county supervisors -- on the same ballot.

But three county supervisors already were elected or re-elected in the June 5 primary, and no others are slated for the fall ballot.

On Tuesday, the group asked the 6th District Court of Appeal to review an Aug. 31 ruling by Superior Court Judge Kevin McKenney, who disagreed with the taxpayer group's interpretation of Proposition 218.

In a single sentence, the appellate court's Acting Presiding Judge Eugene Premo, along with judges Franklin Elia and Nathan Mihara, shot down the group's attempt to overturn the decision and to stay the printing of Measure A and related materials in the voter pamphlet on the ballot.

The group had asked for a ruling by Friday, the deadline for the county registrar to assemble materials to print on the ballot.


Advertisement

"We're very pleased that the appellate court denied the writ petition and upheld the lower court's decision," said Acting County Counsel Lori Pegg. Asked if she expected further legal action by the taxpayers' group, Pegg said "it's my understanding that they are considering their options."

Attorney Bradley Hertz, who represents the taxpayers' group, could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. But he has previously stated that the group might contemplate taking its case to the state Supreme Court.

If passed, Measure A would raise an additional $498.5 million over its 10-year span. County supervisors say it could pay for such things as law enforcement, health care for lower-income children, housing for the homeless and programs to help students stay in school.

But it would also push the county's sales tax rate to 8.5 percent, the third-highest in the state, matching San Francisco's.

Contact Tracy Seipel at 408 275-0140.