CDA, SDDS defeat extreme tax measure, protecting Sacramento dental practices

Voters overwhelmingly reject Sacramento ballot measure targeting dentists, other businesses
March 13, 2024
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CDA, the Sacramento District Dental Society and the No on Measure C campaign are celebrating a significant victory after soundly defeating Measure C, which proposed a drastic tax increase on small businesses in the city of Sacramento. The measure was on the March 5 primary ballot and received just 38% support as of March 13.

Measure C sought to raise a local tax by as much as 812% on licensed professionals including dentists, physicians, accountants, architects, attorneys, veterinarians and engineers among others. The measure also proposed an increase in the city’s business operations tax, raising the maximum rate by as much as 400% or up to $125,000 a year.

“This was an important moment to protect CDA members and health care access in Sacramento,” said CDA President Carliza Marcos, DDS. “The measure would have set a very bad precedent, and we hope the outcome discourages similar approaches in Sacramento and elsewhere going forward.”

Coalition responds with strong voter contact campaign

Moreover, because the Sacramento City Council failed to follow city requirements for notifying the public, statements of opposition did not appear in the local voter guide.

An opposition campaign had to be organized rapidly in response to the city’s error, and a coalition composed of CDA, the California Medical Association, the Sacramento District Dental Society, the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society and The Doctors Company came together to fund the effort. By the end of election day, the campaign had made 168,000 phone calls, sent 94,000 text messages and distributed direct mail to voters.

“Our coalition moved quickly to ensure that voters were aware of Measure C, and we are thankful voters understood the flaws in the process and the harm the measure would cause,” Dr. Marcos added.

The campaign is an example of effective partnership between CDA and component dental societies.

Ash Vasanthan, DDS, MS, president of the Sacramento District Dental Society, stated, “As health care professionals dedicated to the Sacramento community, we are grateful to the voters for recognizing the rushed and ill-considered process behind Measure C. This outcome underscores the importance of thoughtful consideration and transparency in decision-making.”

CDA will continue to contact component dental societies whenever its advocacy team identifies local policy proposals that affect dental practices, and we encourage members and components to contact CDA’s Public Affairs Department when they learn of any relevant proposals in their communities.

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