Election Results: Countywide Ballot Measures

California voters weighed in on a number of important local measures last Tuesday. Below is a list of some countywide measures we were watching in the state’s most populous counties, and how they performed. 

LOS ANGELES 

Measure A was approved. It will allow the Board of Supervisors to remove an elected sheriff from office for cause via a four-fifths vote. Supporters say it will increase accountability and oversight for an agency with a history of corruption and questionable leadership.

Measure C was approved. It will tax marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas at $10 per square foot for cultivation, 6% on gross retail receipts, 2% of testing facilities' gross receipts, 3% on gross distribution receipts, and 4% of gross receipts for manufacturing and other marijuana business facilities. 

Currently, retail marijuana sales are banned in LA’s unincorporated areas. Measure C won’t automatically change that, but it creates a pathway to do so. The measure was placed on the ballot by county supervisors.  

SAN FRANCISCO 

Prop A was approved. It will allow city employees who retired before November 6, 1996, to receive a supplemental cost of living adjustment to their pensions regardless of whether the retirement system is fully funded. It will also allow the Retirement Board to enter into an individual employment contract with its executive director.

Prop C was approved. A "yes" vote supported creation of an oversight commission to oversee the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. It also requires the city controller to conduct audits of homeless services.

Prop D was approved. It will eliminate the need for Board of Supervisors' approval for construction of affordable housing projects using city property or city financing.

Prop E is too close to call. It would continue to require the Board of Supervisors' approval for affordable housing projects using city property or city financing.

Prop H was approved. It will change the elections for Mayor, Sheriff, District Attorney, City Attorney, and Treasurer from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years (in November of presidential election years). It will also change signature requirements for ballot initiatives from 5% of votes cast for mayor to 2% of registered voters.

Prop L was approved. It will continue a one-half cent sales tax through 2053 for transportation project funding and allow the Transportation Authority to issue up to $1.91 billion in bonds for transportation projects. 

Prop M is too close to call. It would allow the city to levy a tax on owners of vacant residential units in buildings with three or more units if the units have been vacant for more than 182 days in a year. The rates are $2,500–5,000 per vacant unit in 2024 with inflation adjustments thereafter through 2053. 

Prop O was rejected by 64.74% of voters. It was a parcel tax of $150–4,000 per parcel, beginning July 1, 2023 and ending on June 30, 2043. Revenue would have gone to the City College of San Francisco for student and workforce development programs.

SAN DIEGO

Measure A was approved. It allows the Board of Supervisors to impose a tax on medical and recreational cannabis businesses operating in unincorporated areas. The tax will be as follows: a maximum of 6% of gross receipts for retail, 3% for distribution, 2% for testing, 3% for cultivation or $10 per canopy square foot and 4% for other businesses. This measure was placed on the ballot by county supervisors. 

SAN BERNARDINO 

Measure D was approved. This was the Board of Supervisors’ attempt to reverse provisions of Measure K (2020), which slashed annual compensation for County Supervisors from roughly $250,000 to $60,000 and set a term limit to a single four-year run.

Measure D will 1) re-implement four-year terms for supervisors and and limit the pay of supervisors at 80 percent of the annual pay for Superior Court judges 2) require a ⅘ supermajority of the board to approve any proposed tax increase and mandate that the increase be approved by voters 3) prohibit supervisors from raising their own salaries.

The second and third provisions especially allowed supervisors to characterize the measure as taxpayer and government reform. That appears to have been a successful strategy. 

Measure EE is too close to call. This is the secession measure. A “yes” vote supports the study and support of “all options to obtain the County's fair share of state funding, including secession from the State of California." The fate of this measure is being watched across the state. 

FRESNO

Measure C is too close to call. It would once again extend a half-cent sales tax imposed in 1986 for another 30 years. If approved, Measure C would raise $7 billion over 30 years. 

Proponents say it’s needed to maintain and upgrade the county’s roads. Opponents say now is not the time. The existing tax doesn’t expire for another five years. Money from the measure has not been spent equitably across the county so far, according to critics.

Measure E was defeated. It would have established a 0.2% sales tax in Fresno County, except for a reduced 0.025% sales tax in the city of Reedley, to fund programs and facilities at California State University, Fresno.

SACRAMENTO 

Measure A is too close to call. It asked voters to approve the Sacramento County Transportation, Maintenance, Safety and Congestion Relief Act of 2022 - Retail Transactions and Use Tax Initiative, including a 0.5% sales tax, to improve roads and air quality.

Measure B is too close to call. This is a special tax measure requiring a two-thirds majority to pass. To fund enhanced County homeless services, including those along the American River Parkway, it would establish a tax on gross receipts from cannabis and hemp businesses in unincorporated Sacramento County. These are not to exceed 6% for retail, 4% for manufacturing, 3% for distribution, 2% for testing and, 3% for cultivation or $10 per canopy square foot inflation adjustable. This tax would generate an estimated $5,100,000 to $7,700,000 per year.

Measure D was approved. It allows the county and city governments to build affordable housing after the current authorization expires in 2024. Article 34 of the State Constitution requires voter approval before certain types of affordable housing projects can be developed by a public agency. 


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