Election 2018: Sales tax passes, housing bond headed for defeat

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — Measure G, a countywide measure to add a half-cent sales tax in unincorporated areas for emergency and city services, has passed with 63.17 percent of votes in favor.

Officials from the County of Santa Cruz thanked local voters for approving the measure, which they say will help with public safety, behavioral health programs, homeless services, parks facilities and more.

“The results are consistent with community concerns that the board worked to address,” Supervisor John Leopold said. “Now we have a funding plan to put the money to work immediately. We have designated $1 million to pay for several parks projects, including Chanticleer Park and LEO’s Haven, the county’s first all-inclusive playground.”

Measure O, which will increase Watsonville’s Transient Occupancy Tax by one percent, has also passed, with 73.34 percent of residents voting in favor. The tax affects people staying in hotels and motels within the city of Watsonville, supporting emergency services, parks and recreation, economic development and other services.

Other measures on the ballot weren’t as successful, including Measure H — a $140 million general obligation bond aiming to fund low-to-moderate income housing in Santa Cruz County. Despite 51.90 percent of voters supporting the measure, it needed a 2/3 majority vote to pass.

Results for the Greenway initiative, Measure L, were close, with 51.98 percent voting for and 48.02 against. The measure bars the City of Capitola from performing construction in Capitola Village for the Regional Transportation Commission’s planned 32-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail along the railroad tracks. Capitola Village is the sole location where the trail needs to detour due to its train trestle.

Also in mid-county, Measure P, which funds improvements to the La Selva Beach Clubhouse, passed a 2/3 majority with 78.11 percent in support.

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