’Tis the season for political yard signs. Slogans for city council members, gubernatorial candidates and ballot measures at both the local and state level can become overwhelming, especially if you are not aware of what each policy really stands for.
This guide to all the measures on the Santa Cruz County ballot clarifies some of the issues at hand.
For all measures listed, a “yes” vote would be in favor of implementing the measure and a “no” vote would be in opposition to it.
MEASURE A: Scotts Valley Unified School District Parcel Tax
Proposes a parcel tax, a kind of property tax based on number of units, in the Scotts Valley district to fund programs, new equipment and staffing for K-12 schools. The tax, $108 annually per parcel of property, would last for five years.
MEASURE B: Soquel Union Elementary School District Parcel Tax
Proposes a parcel tax in the Soquel Union district to fund education programs, new equipment and staffing for elementary schools. The tax would be $96 per parcel of property annually, and would last for six years.
MEASURE G: Santa Cruz Sales Tax
Mandates the county increase the sales tax by a half cent ($0.005) in the unincorporated area of the county to continue funding for general county purposes, such as emergency services and street repair.
MEASURE H: Santa Cruz County Housing Bonds
Authorizes the county to sell up to $140 million in bonds for the purchase or improvement of property to establish as affordable housing for populations that struggle to secure stable housing. Eligible individuals include veterans, seniors, disabled people, houseless people, people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders and low-income families. A portion of the proceeds would also be available for middle income families to purchase homes. Turn to page X for more on Measure H.
MEASURE I: Capitola Marijuana Business Tax
To preserve the quality of life in the city of Capitola, Measure I proposes an indefinite tax raise on marijuana transactions by 7 percent to fund services like libraries and emergency response.
MEASURE J: Capitola Hotel Tax Increase
Increases the city’s transient occupancy tax, which applies to hotels and short-term rentals, from 10 to 12 percent. Proceeds would fund general city upkeep, early childcare and local business subsidies.
MEASURE K: Change of Capitola Office of Treasurer to Appointed Position
This measure would change the position of city treasurer from an elected position to a one appointed by Capitola City Council to ensure the city’s finances be overseen by a trained and qualified individual.
MEASURE L: Capitola Greenway Initiative
Allocates city funding toward two things. The first is preserving the Rail Corridor and Trestle over Soquel Creek for bicyclists, foot traffic and other non-motorized forms of transportation. The second is prohibiting the city from rerouting the trail onto city streets.
MEASURE M: Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act
One of the more contentious measures on the ballot, this amendment would establish a cap on rent annual increases, implement an elected rent board and enforce just cause evictions. There is much local discourse on this issue, which can be read about on [page whatever].
MEASURE N: Scotts Valley Hotel Tax Increase
Also known as a transient occupancy tax, which applies to hotels and short-term rentals of 30 days or fewer, it would increase taxes from 10 to 11 percent. Proceeds would fund general city upkeep, such as paving and building refurbishment.
MEASURE O: Watsonville Hotel Tax Increase
Also known as a transient occupancy tax, it would increase the tax of hotels and short-term rentals of 30 days or fewer, from 11 percent to 12 percent. Proceeds would fund general city proceedings.
MEASURE P: La Selva Beach Park District Parcel Tax
Allows the La Selva Beach Park district to levy a parcel tax of $50 annually on district members for seven years, which would go toward correcting structural flaws in the La Selva Beach Clubhouse and making the building compliant with the American Disability Act.
MEASURE W: West Valley-Mission Community College District Bond Issue
This measure would levy a bond of $698 million to develop the West Valley and Mission community colleges. The funds would be used to upgrade facilities to prepare students for nursing/healthcare careers, update science, engineering and math classrooms and repair facilities, sites and equipment. The bond would amount to $13 per $100,000 parcel of property.