California Voters Approve Most Local Tax Measures
Nov. 8, 2018
Local tax and bond measures performed surprisingly well up and down the state this election. Voters appear to have passed more than three-fourths of them, including 19 of 28 county measures, according to a preliminary analysis by local finance expert Michael Coleman.
The success of local measures was especially pronounced among majority-vote general taxes and 55% school bonds. Of the 187 majority-vote taxes on the ballot, 79 were for cannabis-related business license taxes. For counties, 15 of 19 general taxes appear to have passed, while only 4 of 9 two-thirds vote measures did.
Among the highlights for counties:
- San Benito County has joined the ranks of self-help counties by passing a transportation sales tax, although the margin is still small with plenty of votes still to count.
- Seven out of nine sales tax measures passed.
- Of the six counties seeking increases to their hotel tax rates, at least four succeeded, and one more is within a few votes of passing.
- All majority-vote cannabis tax measures passed (seven), except those that were tied to legalizing or regulating cannabis (three, including two competing measures in one county). See detailed article here.
The success of tax measures seemed to be unrelated to whether counties were rural or urban, traditionally conservative or more liberal.
Additional details about county measures, as well as those in cities, special districts, and schools, are available in Michael Coleman’s preliminary analysis (pdf).