Get informed on the June 7 local election

Read Santa Cruz Local's Election Guide

We break down the primary elections for District 3 and District 4 Santa Cruz County supervisor. We also explain five local ballot measures.
Get informed on the June 7 local election

Measure C proposes to take half of a 25-cent charge on disposable cups and put it toward the County of Santa Cruz’s General Fund. (Kara Meyberg Guzman — Santa Cruz Local file)

What is Measure C? 

To try to reduce waste in landfills, a 25-cent charge on disposable cups is set to go into effect in unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County on July 1. Measure C proposes to allow the County of Santa Cruz to collect half of each 25-cent disposable cup charge. The other half of the 25-cent disposable cup charge would be retained by the beverage seller. Sellers include restaurants, coffee shops, fast-food outlets, events, food trucks and “permanent and temporary facilities” that sell hot or cold beverages, according to Measure C

  • The cup charge is set to start July 1 regardless of Measure C’s outcome. If Measure C is approved, the county’s share of the cup charge is estimated to generate $700,000 annually for the county’s General Fund. The county would not start to collect its share until Jan. 1, 2023. 
  • If Measure C is not approved, the entire 25-cent cup charge would be retained by the cup seller.

Measure C needs more than 50% of the vote to pass. If it passes, a majority vote in a future county election would be required to overturn it. Measure C will be decided by Santa Cruz County voters including those who live in the four cities, the county clerk said.

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What does a “yes” vote on Measure C mean?

A “yes” vote allows the County of Santa Cruz to collect half of the 25-cent disposable cup charge. Twelve-and-a-half cents per cup would be collected as a county tax. Money would go to  Santa Cruz County’s General Fund.

What does a “no” vote on Measure C mean?

A “no” vote would allow the restaurant, coffee shop or other business to keep the entire 25-cent charge for disposable cups it sells with beverages. It would not allow the County of Santa Cruz to get a cut of the money collected through the disposable cup charge.

illustration shows how revenue from disposable cup charge would be split.

Santa Cruz County leaders describe Measure C as a way for the county to collect half of a 25-cent disposable cup charge. (County of Santa Cruz)

Things to consider about Measure C

Measure C revenue would go to the county’s General Fund for “any general governmental purposes,” according to an impartial analysis by Santa Cruz County Counsel Jason Heath

Read more about Measure C

Text of Measure C

Santa Cruz County Counsel Jason Heath’s impartial analysis of Measure C

Santa Cruz Local reported on the disposable cup charge in 2019 and 2020. Santa Cruz County supervisors originally approved the cup charge in November 2019 to start in 2020. The board voted to delay the start of the charge several times because of health concerns related to reusable cups during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

—Allison Gasparini

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