Salinas Taxpayers Association Asks for Taxpayer Protections in Proposed Monterey County Transportation Sales Tax

Today (February 9, 2016) the Salinas Taxpayers Association sent a two-page letter to the board of directors of the Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC). It requests four provisions to be included in the board’s upcoming resolution to put a ⅜ percent sales tax on the ballot in Monterey County. Voters would get to decide if this tax should be established for 20 years for county and local transportation projects.

See the letter here:

February 9, 2016 Salinas Taxpayers Association Letter to Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC) Board on Proposed Sales Tax

The executive director of the Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC) was the guest speaker at a Salinas Taxpayers Association forum on January 25, 2016. For more information about this meeting and about the proposed sales tax, go to this section of the Salinas Taxpayers Association website:

3/8 Percent Transportation Sales Tax for Monterey County

Salinas Taxpayers Association Sponsors Monterey County Infrastructure Tax Forum

Debbie Hale lists taxpayer protections for the proposed Monterey County 3/8 percent transportation tax.

The Salinas Taxpayers Association hosted a “Monterey County Infrastructure Tax Forum” on Monday, January 25 at First United Methodist Church in Salinas. The forum featured a presentation by the Executive Director of the Transportation Agency of Monterey County, Debbie Hale. Also in attendance representing the Transportation Agency of Monterey County was Community Outreach Coordinator Theresa Wright.

TAMC is proposing a 3/8 percent sales tax for transportation programs and projects in Monterey County. See more details at 3/8 Percent Transportation Sales Tax for Monterey County.

Audience members had numerous questions and brought up important issues, such as fair geographical collection of tax revenue and distribution of expenditures, other sources of revenue for TAMC, the funding of bicycle projects, public oversight, and potential passenger rail connectivity projects to the planned California High-Speed Rail station in Gilroy.

The Salinas Taxpayers Association board of directors will likely ask the TAMC board to take certain actions. The board will also consider a position on the sales tax.


The mission of the Salinas Taxpayers Association is to “inform, discuss and formulate opinions on the topic of taxes, fees and assessments impacting residents and businesses in the City of Salinas.” Membership is free and open to anyone who lives or does business in the City of Salinas. The Board of the association meets monthly and mixers like the one on January 25 occur quarterly.

Salinas Taxpayers Association Hosts October 20, 2015 Candidate Forum for Board of Salinas City Elementary School District

Salinas City Elementary School District

Salinas City Elementary School District

There are competitive races for seats on the Salinas City Elementary School District Board of Trustees. The election is on November 3, 2015.

The district is spending $80 million in borrowed money approved by voters in June 2008 for construction, and it may put another bond measure on the ballot in 2016 or 2018. The board hired a new superintendent in July 2015, ending a period of turmoil related to changes in school administration. Based on community engagement, residents see this election as meaningful for the future of the Salinas City Elementary School District.

Join the Salinas Taxpayers Association to hear candidates explain their positions on important fiscal and administrative management issues for the school district.

The event is free and guests are welcome. Bring your toughest questions.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
6:30 PM
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
1071 Pajaro St., Salinas, CA 93901

QUESTIONS CAN BE DIRECTED to Brian Higgins at bphesq [at] gmail.com or via phone to Peter Sheets at (831) 320-1706.


News Media Coverage of 2015 Elections for Board of Salinas City Elementary School District

Salinas School Board Races Are at the GateSalinas Californian – August 11, 2015

Political Digest: Salinas School Board RacesSalinas Californian – September 24, 2015

Salinas City School Board Candidates Face Off – Salinas Californian – September 29, 2015

Four Candidates Want to Represent Area 4 of Salinas City Elementary School District – Monterey County Herald – October 9, 2015

Estrada, Sivilis, Rivera Vie for Area 2 of Salinas City Elementary Board – Monterey County Herald – October 12, 2015

Salinas City School Board Races Heat UpSalinas Californian – October 13, 2015

Salinas Union High School District Board to Vote on Project Labor Agreement – September 29 Special Meeting

Agenda of 2015-09-29 Salinas Union High School District Board Meeting - Project Labor AgreementUPDATE: The board of the Salinas Union High School District voted 5-1 for the Project Labor Agreement. Voting YES were Carlos Rubio, Patty Padilla-Salsberg, Phillip Tabera, Kathryn Ramirez, and Lila Cann. Voting NO was Evamarie Martinez. One seat is vacant.


On September 22, the board of trustees for the Salinas Union High School District unexpectedly scheduled a special meeting at 5:15 pm on Tuesday, September 29 to vote on a union Project Labor Agreement. This contractual requirement applies to construction contractors, certain professional construction service firms that handle responsibilities such as soil testing, and even companies that deliver and install lockers and modular furniture.

All companies will be required to sign the agreement and abide by its terms. Workers will be provided by the unions, benefits for employees will go to the unions, and workers will pay union dues and fees as a condition of work.

This union agreement to be mandated by the school board seems unnecessary. Work funded by the 2002 bond measure was successfully completed by union and non-union contractors, and the school board did not interfere with or supersede its contractors’ internal labor relations.

The Project Labor Agreement has the potential to discourage local non-union contractors from bidding, thus cutting bid competition and increasing costs to taxpayers. It may also encourage an influx of construction companies from the San Francisco Bay Area to travel to Salinas for this work.

Read the proposed Project Labor Agreement here:

Proposed Project Labor Agreement for High School #5 – Salinas Union High School District – Vote on September 29, 2015

Here is a 2011 study showing that costs are 13 to 15 percent higher when school districts construct a school under a Project Labor Agreement:

Measuring the Cost of Project Labor Agreements on School Construction in California

Jon Coupal of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Spoke at Salinas Taxpayers Association Summer Event (August 24, 2015)

Jon Coupal, Executive Director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, made a special visit to Salinas on August 24, 2015 as the guest of the Salinas Taxpayers Association. He discussed Proposition 13 and the insidious movement to change or repeal it.

Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, speaks at a Salinas Taxpayers Association event on August 24, 2015.

Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, speaks at a Salinas Taxpayers Association event at Giorgio’s Patio in Old Town Salinas on August 24, 2015.

For questions about the event or about the Salinas Taxpayers Association, contact Brian Higgins at bphesq [at] gmail.com or Peter at (831) 320-1706.