Local Taxes

Voters Approve Two Local Tax Increases in September 14 Elections

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Voters in three counties approved two local tax measures – representing an estimated $4.9 million per year in new taxes – in elections consolidated with the September 14 gubernatorial recall election.

Measure T, a parcel tax requiring a two-thirds vote for passage, received 79 percent of the vote. The $179 parcel tax will provide $3.7 million annually to fund wildfire protection services within the Truckee Fire Protection District, which serves Nevada and Placer counties. The tax will sunset in eight years.

Measure Q, a cannabis tax in Santa Barbara County, received 76 percent of the vote – far beyond the simple majority needed for approval. The measure will cost taxpayers an estimated $1.2 million per year, with the revenue going to the city’s general fund.

Measure Q replaces a tax that has been in place since 2018 – an annual flat tax of $15,000 if net income is less than $2 million, or $30,000 if net income is greater – with a tax of varying rates on manufacturing and distribution operations, starting at 0.5 cents per dollar for $10 million or less in total revenue, up to 2.5 cents per dollar for $55 million or more in total revenue.

The original cannabis tax, Measure D of 2018, passed with 75.7 percent of the vote and was estimated to generate $130,000 to $470,000 per year in revenue.

The two measures were placed on the ballot prior to the announcement of the recall election date, but were consolidated with the recall election after the date was set, to avoid the expense of conducting separate elections.