Xavier Campos Pushes Half-Cent Sales Tax to Hire More Police

San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos has proposed a half-cent sales tax measure so the city can hire more police officers.

“Ideally, no one would want to increase taxes,” he writes in a memo going before the Rules and Open Government Committee on Wednesday. “However, this council has worked before on making tough fiscal decisions to increase services to our citizens.”

Campos proposes placing a ½-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot to bring the number of street-ready sworn officers in the San Jose Police Department from less than 900 back to 1,400.

The sales tax increase would generate up to $70 million in revenue, he says, citing figures presented during a study session last fall. He also pointed to a poll conducted in January last year in which 57 percent of respondents said they would support a tax increase that would restore city services.

Placing a tax measure on the ballot would cost anywhere from $425,000 to $900,000, the memo states.

“Considering the money this council has approved in other attempts at fiscal reform and cost savings, this amount is money well spent in generating actual revenue for use to bring these services back to neighborhoods that desperately need them,” Campos writes.

He adds that city staff, at a recent community meeting, told attendees that more than 100 other California cities have passed a ½-cent sales tax hike, and 90 percent of tax increases from the November 2013 ballot passed.

On a side note, Campos’ office confirmed Tuesday that the councilman is in the process of donating bone marrow to help a young child. Details on the situation are still unknown. San Jose Inside has written extensively about some suspicious decisions by Campos, but this would be a very cool act on his part.

More from the San Jose Rules and Open Government Committee agenda for February 12, 2014:

• David Wall says a “feminist agenda” that led to hiring unqualified staff has compromised capital improvements at the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant, or as he likes to call it, “a perpetual train wreck.”

• San Jose wants to support a bill that would prevent the U.S. Post Office from cutting Saturday deliveries, which would slash 80,000 jobs nationwide.

WHAT: Rules and Open Government Committee meets
WHEN: 2pm Wednesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

A recap of last week
A motion introduced by Councilwoman Rose Herrera to ban pot collectives, their employees and their spouses from donating to candidates in city elections was referred in a 3-0 vote to City Council for further discussion. It’s expected to come up as the city considers how to regulate local pot clubs, how many to allow within city limits and whether it should raise the marijuana business tax higher than 10 percent.

Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. its funny that Campos is trying to beef up public safety, which is the right thing to do. While Mayor Reed is on KLIV talking about a tax increase for libraries AND the Possibility of Maybe shutting down another Fire station. Also reducing staffing levels . This insane corrupt Politician refuses to accept Blame for SJFD’s response times . It was Reed who closed fire houses, It was Reed who shut down 5 engine Co. , it was Reed who shut down 2 Truck Co. , It was Reed who created the “Rolling Blackouts. Honestly , what did he think was going to happen???you can’t shut down 7 apparatus and not expect there to be a change in service.  Did the Mayor really think that no one would notice?  Rather than stand up and accept responsibility he just pushes it off onto the F.D. . I guess if you can’t step up , then step aside.

  2. Unfortunately this measure is “political fodder” and should fail on its face.

    If the “sales-tax-increase” were to fund Public Safety ONLY and with legal parameters that the funds raised could not be “siphoned-off” by “the Council mule-rear-ends,” that is a different story.

    However, I will not support Councilmember Campos’s measure, as it reads today because, “the Council mule-rear-ends” are NOT trustworthy and will simply “siphon-off the funds for Public Safety” to fund their “pet-projects” to enable their worthless rumps to be re-elected.

    On a matter concerning the Water Pollution Control Plant’s $2.2 Billion dollar Capital Improvement Program (CIP) as posted in today’s program.

    Jenn W;

    Consider an exposé on the CIP.

    One juicy segment is “the Mechanical De-Watering of Digested Sewage Sludge.” This sector of the CIP is going to cost the rate payers “hundreds of millions of dollars” that are not justified to be spent; overseen by an “Architect with an expired license.”

    David S. Wall

  3. Disgusted,
    I get the fact that Reed as failed the citizens of San Jose greatly.  However, what I would like to know is what “wanna a be mayor” voted with Reed on this matter that you speak of.  I think we need to focus the track record of these “wanna a be” mayors.  My opinion of course.

  4. The city has been giving away huge amounts of money to developers in the form of tax breaks.  And now this guy wants to raise sales tax on everyone to make up the difference.  Yeah, how about no.

  5. Raise the sales tax, use the money to hire 600 more officers. Not quite… In reality –

    Raise the sales tax, use the money to hire and train 600 officers, most of whom will promptly leave SJPD for other agencies who offer competitive retirement benefits and salaries. Oh, and the prospect of getting a disability retirement if they’re injured in the line of duty and paralyzed below the waist. Considering they’ll all have to work until they’re at least 60 to reach minimum retirement eligibility, that prospect is high.

  6. Even if this tax measure were to pass, it is too late to do much good. Hundreds of extremely talented, hardworking and devoted men and women have already left for other employers. There is no getting them back. They took with them a collection of institutional knowledge of the intricacies of this city that only could be obtained after a long career working the streets of San Jose, and passing this information on to the young officers. That chain is broken, at least for this generation of officers. Sam Liccardo as a mayoral candidate may spout the BS that as a former prosecutor he has a “plan” to deal with crime and hire 200 officers, but it is just that; BS. His failed policies, along with the current mayor, have led to the wholesale dismantling of this department. A few years ago, we were close to 1,450 officers; we are now getting close to only 800 officers. If our city was around the national average of officers per citizens, we should have over 2,000 officers for a city of a million. I hope if you are a citizen in San Jose, you vote for someone else besides Sam Liccardo for Mayor.

  7. You can raise and approve as many taxes as you want. the fact remains until Measure B is fully defeated AND the disability issue with Tier 2 and Tier 1 employees is completely rescinded, then no one in their right mind will stay. Any prospective employees will get hired, train and leave. And I will help them. At this point, it is about their welfare, safety and financial stability over the long term. 
    If the only way they can get into law enforcement is this backwards manner, then I say good for them and too bad for this mayor.
    You reap what you sow and these young recruits are taking advantage of the situation the mayor created. I think it is awesome.

  8. Where are these policemen going to come from?  More than half of the academy class that just graduated has already resigned and left for other cities!  More are leaving in the coming month.  How many millions of dollars in training money was lost there?

    San Jose is spiraling downward in crime and nobody seems to care.

  9. I have learned from past experience that San Jose Inside has an active and zealous gatekeeper, which is fine.  It’s THEIR blogsite and THEIR standards and THEIR reputation that they need to protect.

    That being said, SJI should ponder whether they want to be the San Jose Police union blogsite, or the local Democrat Party blogsite.

    At some point, the whiny stimming of police union activists loses its information value and basically morphs into staticky background noise.

    We know their complaint.  We’ve made up our minds.  We know their favorite villains.  Nothing more to learn.

    Time to move on.  And spend more time on twitter.

    • Unless the ballot measure is 100% clear that the measure is for public safety aka: SJPD forget about it!  Never then I wonder because this council is so anti public safety.  It may make it out of rules committee, but it will be watered down for pet projects like buying more land for a ball park that will never come.  Don’t be fooled by the chuckie want to be mayor clones.

  10. This has nothing to do with being “pro union” or “anti union”. The SJPD is vastly understaffed, and officers are leaving here on a daily basis. I would NEVER bring my family to downtown SJ with the current crop of violent criminals, hookers, transients, and assorted other miscreants who roam downtown unmolested. It is not safe, whether you are a card carrying union member, or a member of the John Birch Society. Having said this, I would not support this tax measure, because it is not a dedicated tax for public safety, and could, no, make it would be used, for pet projects of mainly Sam Liccardo’s preference.