Breaking Down San Joaquin County’s Seven November Ballot Proposals

August 13, 2020 at 7:32 pm

Offices of San Joaquin County on San Joaquin Street.

Offices of San Joaquin County on San Joaquin Street

Image courtesy of San Joaquin County

Letters were selected for San Joaquin County’s ballot proposals on Thursday. We’ve covered all seven of them in separate articles. Here’s a summary of each, all in one spot.

Measure A

Measure A is a $260 million bond issue for upgrading school facilities, disability accommodations, career training programs, and classrooms for coronavirus precautions in Manteca Unified School District. The measure would add an extra $45 per every $100,000 of a home’s value in property taxes and is estimated to generate around $13.9 million annually. It requires 55% of voter approval.

This proposal might sound familiar. A similar version was on the ballot back in March, where it proposed a tax of $60 per $100,000 of home value instead of $45. Additionally, there was no need for coronavirus-related updates to classrooms (which the new proposal will cover) at the time. The measure failed, garnering just slightly more than 50% of the vote. Click here to read the full article.

Measure U

The Woodbridge Rural Fire Protection District is seeking a property tax at a flat rate of $45 for unimproved parcels and 8 cents per building square foot for improved parcels. Revenues from the tax, estimated annually at about $1.2 million, would go towards maintaining emergency response times, rescue services, firefighting equipment, and emergency medical positions. Like many taxpayer-funded services, the district is expected to see a dip in tax revenue this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to read the full article.

Measure V

Measure V would expand Banta Elementary School District into Banta Unified School District, allowing it to have a high school. Currently, residents of River Islands have to send their kids to West High School in Tracy Unified. The new district’s high school would be River Islands High School, scheduled to open in 2022. Once it is open, Banta Elementary School students will continue to have the option to attend Tracy High. Click here to read the full article.

Measure W

Cannabis and hemp businesses in Tracy would be subject to a tax netting approximately $350,000 to $750,000 a year. The rate of taxation would depend on the type of businesses: $12 per square foot for cultivators, 6% for retailers, 2.5% for laboratories, 3% and 4% for all other businesses. Businesses with multiple cannabis licenses would have their taxes capped at 15%. A similar proposal was on the ballot in 2018, but required ⅔ approval to pass rather than this year’s 50%. The projected revenue was also considerably smaller (at $35,000 to $100,000 annually) and was supposed to go to law enforcement rather than the city’s general fund. Click here to read the full article.

Measure X

Another cannabis tax is also on the ballot, this one county-wide. Cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas of the county would be taxed at 3.5% of sales, with an additional $2 per square foot for cultivation enterprises. It requires ⅔ assent to pass. Revenues for the tax are difficult to estimate, as there are currently no approved cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas of San Joaquin County, but they would go towards early childhood education, public health services, and homeless mitigation. The exact same measure, back then known as Measure B, was on the ballot two years ago and failed to pass. Click here to read the full article.

Measure Y

Measure Y is asking voters to approve an exception to Tracy’s growth management ordinance to allow for development for a potential ValleyLink station. ValleyLink, which is seeking to link the Dublin-Pleasanton BART station and the ACE (Altamont Corridor Express), has proposed a station in downtown Tracy. However, the station must be built in an area with at least 2,200 housing units in a half-mile radius.

The proposed area for the station currently contains 1,750 housing units. However, construction of new homes is capped at 600 per year by the growth management ordinance. Approving the exception in Measure Y would allow for the area to reach the required 2,200 units much faster. At least 10% of the new homes will be designated as affordable housing. Click here to read the full article.

Measure Z

The city of Manteca is asking voters to increase the sales tax by 1%, from 8.25% to 9.25%. The measure would add another $12 million to the city’s general fund to cope with drops in sales, hotel room, and gas taxes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The sales tax was last altered in 2017, when it decreased from 8.5% to 8.25% as state and county rates changed. Measure M was also approved back in 2006, which enacted a 0.5% increase that went towards public safety. Click here to read the full article.