San Jose Half-Cent Sales Tax Proposal Would Bring Police Force Back to Full Strength

By Damian Trujillo
|  Friday, Jan 24, 2014  |  Updated 8:40 PM PDT
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One San Jose councilman running for re-election is proposing a half-cent sales tax to hire more police officers. Damian Trujillo reports.

One San Jose councilman running for re-election is proposing a half-cent sales tax to hire more police officers. Damian Trujillo reports.

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A San Jose councilmember running for re-election is proposing a half-cent sales tax to hire more police officers, but some argue the move is more politics than policy.

The rules committee will decide Wednesday whether to put the matter on the city council agenda for a vote to put it on the June ballot.

Roughly 300 police officers in San Jose have retired or resigned over the last few years, forcing the department to close its burglary and vice unit, among others.

That has led to alarming crime rates that has some residents feeling uneasy, so Councilman Xavier Campos is proposing a half-cent sales tax, which would allow the department to go back to having 1,400 officers on staff.

Some critics are saying it's a political maneuver for Campos’s own gain. Campos says it’s not so.

“Putting a sales tax on the ballot is not a good thing to do when you’re running for re-election,” Campos said. “So this is about doing the right thing.”

It is estimated the half-cent sales tax would generate almost $70 million per year.

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