What would Measure K do?
Measure K would add a 0.5% sales tax to the current 9% sales tax on goods purchased in unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County. Groceries and prescription medicine are exempt from sales tax.
Measure K as it appears on the March 5 ballot:
To fund essential Santa Cruz County services, including wildfire response/prevention/recovery; affordable housing to support working families and frontline workers including nurses, emergency responders, and educators; mental health crisis programs for children/vulnerable populations; substance abuse programs; improved public safety, road maintenance/pothole repair, parks/recreation; and programs to reduce homelessness, shall Santa Cruz County’s transaction and use tax (sales tax) be increased in unincorporated areas by one-half cent, providing approximately $10,000,000 annually, until ended by voters?
The funding priorities listed in the ballot text are not legally binding. The money from the sales tax hike would go into the county’s General Fund and could be used for any purpose.
The higher sales tax would take effect July 1 and would continue indefinitely unless overturned by another ballot measure.
What does a “yes” vote mean?
The sales tax rate in unincorporated Santa Cruz County would increase by 0.5%, bringing it to 9.5%. All revenue would go into the county’s General Fund and could be spent on anything in the county’s budget.
What would a “no” vote mean?
A “no” vote on Measure K would keep the county sales tax at 9%.
Thing to consider about Measure K
- Sales tax background.
- Arguments for Measure K.
- Arguments against Measure K.
- How Measure K fits in the Santa Cruz County budget.
- Santa Cruz County pension debt.
- Measure K legal challenges.