Local Taxes

Local Taxes: Voters Will Decide 231 Local Tax and Bond Measures in March Elections

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California voters will decide 231 local tax and bond measures on the March 3 presidential primary ballot, according to data compiled by CalTax.

CalTax’s online table of the 2020 local tax elections includes details about each measure, and will be updated with results after the election.

The number of measures marks a 165 percent increase over the last presidential primary. In June 2016, voters were presented with 87 local tax and bond measures, and approved 67.

This year’s measures include 119 school bonds (which would be repaid, with interest, via property tax increases), 52 parcel taxes, 44 sales tax measures and two advisory measures asking if revenue should be spent in a specific manner if an accompanying tax increase is approved.

Advisory measures carry no legal weight, but are used by tax proponents as a campaign tactic – allowing them to campaign for a tax as a way to fund a special purpose (often public safety) without triggering the two-thirds vote requirement for special taxes. If the underlying majority-vote tax is approved, revenue will go into the general fund, where it can be used for any purpose.