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Seaside Utility Tax Claimed Invalid

Released Oct. 8, 2008

SEASIDE: The Seaside Taxpayers Association today labeled the Seaside utility tax – which Measure E is slated to repeal – unconstitutional and invalid. According to Monterey attorney Carl Mounteer, the 6% tax missed the time limit to be placed on the ballot by almost 10 years ago.

Prop. 218, passed in 1996, gave local governments two years in which to put non-voter-approved special taxes on the ballot. “The city of Seaside failed to act within that time constraint,” said Lawrence Samuels, Vice Chair of the Seaside Taxpayers Association.

Litigation could force the city to refund all the utility taxes collected since 1996, amounting to millions of dollars. “The least expensive way to solve this problem is to simply let this illegal tax die,” Samuels said.

The Seaside Taxpayers Associated spearheaded the drive to repeal the utility tax after discovering that 39 city employees received compensation of over $100,000 in 2007, up from only 16 employees in 2006.

The anti-tax group also maintains that the tax was advertised as a “temporary tax” during Mayor Lance McClair’s administration.

Last Updated: Oct 08, 08

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