The Fair Political Practices Commission announced today (26) it will investigate the complaint filed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Central Coast Taxpayers Association, alleging campaign reporting violations by County of San Luis Obispo, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) and the Yes on Measure J Committee. These entities have been spending taxpayer money to promote San Luis Obispo County Measure J-16, the so-called Self Help Local Transportation Tax measure on the November 8, 2016 ballot.
The complaint, filed on October 18, charges that the County and SLOCOG failed to report as campaign contributions nearly a quarter million dollars spent on promotional materials and government employee and contractor compensation supporting the Measure J tax hike. While the FPPC’s letter indicated that it has not yet made any determination about the validity of the taxpayer associations’ allegations, the initiation of an investigation is the critical first step in the process of determining violations.
“This is a classic case of government using taxpayer dollars to support a campaign for a tax increase,” said HJTA President Jon Coupal. “With this complaint, we hope to send a message to local officials that spending public money to support ballot measures will not be tolerated.”
HJTA is California’s largest taxpayer advocacy organization. In addition to protecting Proposition 13, HJTA has prevailed in numerous lawsuits against government entities which have wrongfully spent taxpayer money for political purposes. CCTA is a San Luis Obispo County organization formed to protect San Luis Obispo County taxpayer interests. Andrea Seastrand is President of CCTA.