Election 2018 | Gonzales sales tax increase shot down by voters


SOUTH COUNTY — California voters took to the polls last Tuesday to decide on numerous local and state measures in the Nov. 6 general election, the results of which are continuing to be counted.

Monterey County Elections officials released the latest results last Friday, showing the majority of South County measures passing. Updated results will be available later today, Nov. 14.

  

Local measures

In King City, residents were able to vote for Measures K, L, Q and R last week.

Measure K, which increases retail transactions and use taxes in the city from 1/2 percent to a full 1 percent, needed a majority to vote in favor for it to pass. As of Friday’s results, the measure is passing with 512 votes, or 57.02 percent, in favor, with 386 votes, or 42.98 percent, against. The sales tax will expire in 10 years on April 1, 2029.

“We are very excited and appreciative of the support received,” said City Manager Steve Adams. “Approval will mark an important turning point for the City. For the first time in many years, King City will now be able to fund expenditures for basic services with dependable ongoing revenues rather than relying on deficits or one-time revenue sources.”

The second part of the tax was Measure L, an advisory measure detailing how the tax revenue generated by Measure K would be spent.

Measure L, which is also passing with 605 votes, or 67.98 percent, in favor, asks for Measure K revenue to be spent on balancing the budget, paying off general fund debt and establishing a financial reserve. It also would go toward funding public safety staffing, services and projects and fund downtown improvements and other economic development efforts to increase businesses, jobs and visitors to King City.

Voters in King City and Greenfield also approved both measures from South Monterey County Joint Union High School District. Measures Q and R deal with funds for making school improvements and extending a bond that is nearing its expiration date.

The extended bond, Measure Q, is estimated to raise $40 million that can only be used for school facilities, and the funds would be split between Greenfield and King City high schools.

Measure R asked voters to approve improvements to upgrade academic, vocational and agricultural education classrooms, to replace outdated science, technology and computer labs and provide classrooms for technology careers.

Measure Q received 2,275 votes, or 57.22 percent, in favor, while Measure R earned 2,282 votes, or 57.42 percent, of support.

“Until the County Elections Office certifies the election, nothing is official,” said Superintendent Brian Walker. “But, as of right now, we are sitting at about 57 percent for one measure and 57 percent on the other. As the counts stand, both measures have passed for us.”

In Gonzales, voters decided against Measure O, a transaction and use tax that would have raised the city’s sales tax rate from 1/2 percent to 1 percent. The increased tax was a general purpose tax brought forward by the Measure K Advisory Committee to the City Council. Its revenue would have gone toward police and fire services, park and road maintenance, public safety renovation, youth and senior programs, community center development and other services.

Measure O was voted down with 548 votes, or 54.64 percent, against, with 455 votes, or 45.36 percent, in favor.

“It was a little disappointing that the voter turnout was so low,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Liz Silva. “… Maybe it wasn’t clear enough to the voters what we were trying to do.”

The city’s previously passed measure, Measure K, was primarily to fund the improvements made to the Gonzales Pool. Measure O would have increased that amount so that improvements could have been made to roads, with some funding for the Community Center as well as to help pay for fire department services.

Silva said the Measure K Tax Advisory Committee is planning to bring forward Measure O again in a few years with a different approach.

  

Statewide measures

Voters decided on 11 statewide measures that appeared on last week’s ballot, six of which earned enough support to pass, according to the latest election results released Sunday by the state.

Proposition 1 received 54.5 percent of support for allowing $4 billion in general obligation bonds for existing affordable housing programs to low-income residents, veterans, farmworkers, manufactured and mobile homes, infill and transit-oriented housing.

Earning 61.6 percent of yes votes, Proposition 2 amended the Mental Health Services Act to fund the No Place Like Home Program, which finances housing for individuals with mental illness.

Proposition 3, which would have authorized bonds to fund projects for water supply and quality, watershed, fish, wildlife, water conveyance and groundwater sustainability and storage, was shot down with 52.1 percent voting no.

Proposition 4, however, received 60.9 percent voting in favor and authorizes bonds to fund construction providing children’s health care.

With 58.6 percent against, Proposition 5 would have removed certain transfer requirement for homeowners over 55, severely disabled homeowners and contaminated or disaster-destroyed houses.

Also shot down was Proposition 6, with 55.7 percent voting against repealing the state’s gas tax and eliminating certain road repair and transportation funding.

A majority of voters supported Proposition 7, with 60.1 percent in favor, which gives the Legislature the ability to change daylight saving time period by a two-thirds vote, if changes are consistent with federal law.

Proposition 8 failed to receive enough support, with 61.2 percent of voters against the regulation to the amounts outpatient kidney dialysis clinics could charge for dialysis treatment.

Proposition 10, regarding local governments’ authority to enact rent control on residential property, also failed to pass, receiving 61.4 percent of no votes.

Emergency ambulance employees will have to remain on-call during their work breaks with the passing of Proposition 11, which earned 60.3 percent of votes in favor.

Proposition 12 also passed with 61.2 percent of votes, establishing new confinement standards for certain farm animals and banning the sale of noncomplying products.


Video News