California Voters Approve 63% of tax Measure
By Chriss Street
Local voters approved 63% or 55 of the 87 local tax, bond or fee measures on the June 5, 2012 California primary ballot according to Michael Coleman, the creator of CaliforniaCityFinance.com. Majority vote measures fared much better than super-majority votes requiring 2/3 approval to pass special taxes and bonds. Fifteen or 79% of the 19 majority vote measures passed, but only eighteen or 53%% of the 34 supermajority vote taxes passed. Voters favored approval of school tax and bond measures by 66%, compared to 45% for non-schools.
Analysts will not get much direction from these local election results in trying to handicap the mood of voters to pass Governor Jerry Brown's $6 billion tax increase initiative this November. Even though a balanced budget is constitutionally required to be approved by June 15th, it was just reported the state legislative leadership still refuses to cut $2 billion in social spending to meet Brown’s budget proposal that appeared to the analysts to already have a $4 billion deficit. The results below confirm that voters support their own local schools, but it is unclear if they will tax themselves more for the benefit of the state.
School Parcel Taxes
Nine of the 13 or 69% of the school parcel taxes measures requiring 2/3 super-majority vote passed. All received well over 60% yes votes and nine passed.
School Bonds Requiring 55% Approval
Twenty-Three or 77% of the 34 local school bond measures that will raise $1.856 billion passed.
Local Add-On Sales Taxes
Voters in eight of the 9 cities or 89% approved transactions and use sales tax add-ons. Only the City of Alameda failed, because the earmarking the use of the tax required a 2/3 majority approval. Since 2001, about 60% of measures to increase general purpose local sales taxes have passed, but only 36% special sales tax increases requiring 2/3 majority vote have passed.
Transient Hotel Occupancy Taxes
Two of the 4 ballot measures to increase or expand hotel Transient Occupancy Taxes passed.
Utility User Taxes
Of the two utility user tax measures on the ballot, both failed (Stanton advisory invalidated).
Business License Taxes
Two of the 4 business license tax increases passed (San Mateo Parking is still too close to call).
Parcel City and Special Taxes
Only four of the 14 or 29% of the city parcel and special district parcel tax increases passed (Proposition 13 requires 2/3 super-majority approval. Just four of the 14 measures passed.
General Obligation Bonds Both cities that attempted to gain the 2/3 voter approval to issue general obligation bonds failed, whereas over the last 12 years, about 50% of the general obligation bond measures had passed.
Employee Benefit Changes
Both of the public employee pension reform proposals passed with big majorities.
Appointed City Clerk, Treasurer, Administrator
Orange County’s proposal to have the Board of Supervisors appoint the county Public Administrator who protects the assets and manages the affairs of residents of the county who die with no known heirs, will or executor failed along with efforts to deny voters the right to elect city clerk and city treasurer in Ukiah and Antioch. But Calexico approved similar measures.
Voters in El Cajon approved establishment of a city charter, but voters in Auburn turned down charter city status.
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