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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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County

Santa Cruz County
Measure G - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passing

75,810 votes yes (65.85%)

39,309 votes no (34.15%)

Unincorporated Area Retail Transaction and Use Tax. To continue funding 9-1-1 emergency response, paramedic, sheriff, fire, emergency preparedness, local street repairs, mental health services, homelessness programs, parks, economic development and other general county services, shall the County of Santa Cruz be authorized to increase by ordinance the sales tax on retail transactions in the unincorporated area of the County by one-half cent for twelve years, providing approximately $5,750,000 annually, subject to annual audits and independent citizens oversight?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Jason Heath, Chief Assistant County Counsel

If this measure is approved by a majority of those voting on it, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Cruz will be authorized to adopt an ordinance enacting a temporary increase to the retail transactions and use tax (“sales tax”) on retail transactions in the unincorporated area of the County.  The sales tax increase would be imposed for a period of twelve years at the rate of one-half of one percent on retail transactions in the unincorporated area only.  The current sales tax rate in the County of Santa Cruz is eight and one-half percent.  Accordingly, if this measure is approved, the sales tax rate would increase to nine percent for twelve years.  If approved, this measure is expected to take effect in or around April of 2019.

The revenue generated by this measure would be deposited in the County’s general fund and used by the County to pay for general County operations and services including emergency response, sheriff, fire, parks, street maintenance, mental health services, affordable housing, homelessness programs, youth and senior programs and economic development.

This measure was placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Cruz. 

A “yes” vote on Measure G is a vote to approve the increase in the sales tax.      

A “no” vote on Measure G is a vote against the increase in the sales tax.

Financial effect

Edith Driscoll, County Auditor-Controller

Sales Tax Rate Increase of One-Half Percent in unincorporated area for 12 years

The sales tax rate in the County of Santa Cruz is currently 8.50%, or 8.50 cents on every dollar. Of this amount, the County currently receives 1%, or one cent on every dollar for County Operations. These funds are used to pay for a variety of general County services such as Sheriffs, Parks, Homelessness Programs and Mental Health Services.

If approved by the voters, this measure would increase the total sales tax rate in the unincorporated area to 9.00% for 12 years and the County would receive an additional one-half percent (1/2%) for general County services.

The current 1% sales tax rate generated $11,514,343 for County Operations in the fiscal year July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. The proposed one-half percent (1/2%) increase in the local sales tax rate would annually generate an additional $5,757,171 to support general County services. This is an approximation of the amount that can be expected annually during the twelve-year period the tax would be in effect. Actual sales tax collections will vary from year to year depending upon economic conditions.

Distribution of the current 8.50% sales tax rate:

6.00%     -Goes to State General Fund and Other State Funds

1.00%     -Goes to County Operations

0.25%     -Goes to County Transportation Funds

0.50%     -Goes to Santa Cruz Metro Transit District

0.50%     -Goes to Santa Cruz County Transportation Improvement Plan, Measure D

0.25%     -Goes to the Library Authority

8.50%  Total Sales Tax Rate, Santa Cruz County Unincorporated Area

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Santa Cruz County residents value the protection for themselves and others through effective police, fire, emergency and social services; a clean environment and parks programs serving youth, adults and seniors; and quality, fiscally responsible government services.

By reducing employee retirement and pension costs, growing fiscal reserves and spending wisely, County government boosted its bond ratings, augmented existing services and started down the road to recovery from 2017 winter storm damage.

However, additional mental health and homeless outreach and intervention services are needed, and unmet needs for seniors and public safety have to be addressed. New local funds for parks could leverage millions more in grants and private donations. Measure G will help Santa Cruz County address our critical unmet needs while providing for effective community investments.

Measure G would tax sales in the unincorporated area only, and levels will still be at or below other local cities. Because all residents would benefit from the funding, all residents are being asked to vote on the measure.

Priorities for Measure G funds include new year-round North and South County homeless shelters, a public safety and behavioral health outreach team to address individuals suffering from mental health and substance use disorders and the completion of LEO's Haven the County's first all-inclusive playground for children of all abilities. 

Funding for the new Felton Nature Park; completion of Mid-County's Farm Park; upgrades at Aptos Village Park; funds for South County parks; repairs at Simpkins Family Swim Center and the expansion of youth and senior recreational opportunities are planned. 

Without these funds, our ability to rise together to meet these challenges would be limited. Improving public safety, social services and critical infrastructure is consistent with the values and aspirations of the community. We urge you to vote Yes on Measure G. For more information visit www.Yes-on-G.com

Jim Hart
Sheriff-Coroner

Carol Williamson*
President NAMI-Santa Cruz

Mariah Roberts*
Director, Chanticleer Park Neighbors

Nancy Gerdt
Felton Library Volunteer

Michael Watkins
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools

 

*Signing on behalf of the organization

 

Arguments AGAINST

No argument against Measure G was filed.

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

RESOLUTION CALLING FOR A SPECIAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2018, TO SUBMIT TO THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ A COUNTYWIDE MEASURE OF WHETHER AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING A ONE-HALF CENT INCREASE IN THE SALES TAX ON TRANSACTIONS IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREA OF THE COUNTY FOR A PERIOD OF TWELVE YEARS SHOULD BE ADOPTED AND CONSOLIDATING SAID SPECIAL COUNTY ELECTION WITH THE GUBERNATORIAL GENERAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 6, 2018

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors of Santa Cruz County desires to submit to the voters of the County of Santa Cruz at a Special Election a measure authorizing the Board to amend County Code to increase by one-half cent for a period of twelve years the Retail Transactions and Use Tax (Sales Tax) for transactions in the unincorporated area of the County; and 

WHEREAS, the current Sales Tax in the unincorporated area was established in 1956 at 1.25% and has not been increased since; and the current Sales Tax in the unincorporated area totals 8.5% and is lower than every city within the County; and

WHEREAS, the Sales Tax is enacted solely to raise revenue for the general governmental purposes of the County and not for purposes of regulation or of raising revenue for regulatory purposes, in that all of the proceeds from the tax shall be placed in the County’s general fund and be used for the usual current expenses of the County; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors has determined it is in the best interest of the County and its residents to submit to the voters a measure authorizing the Sales Tax on transactions in the unincorporated area of the County to be increased for a period of twelve years at a rate of one-half cent for general purposes to provide funding for essential County services such as sheriff, fire, emergency response, local street maintenance and pothole repair, integrated mental health, substance use disorder and health care services, homelessness programs, parks, youth and senior programs, economic development and job creation, affordable housing and other essential County services; and

WHEREAS, subsection (b) of section 2 of Article XIII C of the California Constitution and section 53723 of the California Government Code require that before the County may impose a general tax, the tax must be submitted to the voters and approved by a majority vote of the voters; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary that a special County election be held in accordance with law for the purpose of submitting to the qualified voters of the County a measure on whether to approve the proposed one-half cent Sales Tax increase on transactions in the unincorporated area of the County.  

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED AND ORDERED by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Cruz as follows:      

1.    That a special election shall be and the same is hereby called and ordered to be held throughout the County on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 for the purpose of submitting to the qualified voters of the County the following ballot measure question:

Unincorporated Area Retail Transaction and Use Tax.  To continue funding 9-1-1 emergency response, paramedic, sheriff, fire, emergency preparedness, local street repairs, mental health services, homelessness programs, parks, economic development and other general county services, shall the County of Santa Cruz be authorized to increase by ordinance the sales tax on retail transactions in the unincorporated area of the County by one-half cent for twelve years, providing approximately $5,750,000 annually, subject to annual audits and independent citizens oversight?

            Yes________            No________

2.    The Board of Supervisors submits to the qualified voters the Ballot Measure Question as set forth in Paragraph 1 of this resolution and designates and refers to said measure as the measure to be set forth on the ballots for use in said election.  

3.    This special County election shall be held and conducted, and the votes thereat received and canvassed, and the returns thereof made and the result thereof ascertained and determined in accordance with law.  

4.    This special County election shall be and is hereby consolidated with the Gubernatorial General Election to be held throughout the County on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, in all respects and all as required by and pursuant to law.  

5.    In accordance with the provisions of California Elections Code section 9160(b), the County Counsel is hereby directed to prepare an impartial analysis of this measure.  

6.    In accordance with the provisions of California Elections Code section 9150(c), the County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector is hereby directed to prepare a fiscal impact statement of this measure.

7.    Arguments for and against this measure may be submitted in conformance with California Elections Code section 9161 and following.

8.    The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors shall file a copy of this Resolution with the County Clerk.

More information

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