Business & Real Estate

Three local tax measures face voters in November

Locally, Santa Clara County voters will decide three additional measures concerning taxes. Two of them would continue an existing tax for water service and preserving open space. The other would go toward funding Caltrain. Below is a look at the three measures.

Measure S
A “yes” vote would indefinitely continue an existing parcel tax for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, raising more than $45 million annually (three-fifths of a cent per square foot) toward the district’s Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program. The funding would go toward areas such as flood protection, wildlife habitat and improved water quality in waterways. The measure would not increase the existing tax rate.

A “no” vote would mean the existing parcel tax, which voters approved in 2012 under Measure B, would expire in 2028.

Why now? With the ongoing impact of climate change and concerns over the infrastructure of the county’s water system, proponents are seeking approval from voters on a consistent source of annual funding beyond the next eight years.

Measure T

A “yes” vote would indefinitely continue an existing $24 parcel tax for the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, raising approximately $8 million a year toward preserving and protecting natural open spaces. The funding would go toward areas such as wildfire and flood reduction practices, pollution prevention and wildlife habitat preservation. The measure would not increase the existing tax rate.

A “no” vote would mean the existing parcel tax, which voters approved in 2014 under Measure Q, would expire in 2029.

Why now? Proponents from the Open Space Authority pushing the measure claim that the funding from Measure Q has allowed the county to nearly double its protected natural open space, and that a majority of its budget comes from Measure Q funding.

Caltrain
Town Crier File Photo
Riders board and disembark from Caltrain in July 2019. Voters will get to weigh in on funding for Caltrain this November. Measure RR would institute a one-eighth-cent sales tax, generating approximately $100 million annually for 30 years.

Measure RR

A “yes” vote would levy a one-eighth-cent sales tax, generating approximately $100 million a year for 30 years, for
Caltrain.

A “no” vote would not approve the funding for Caltrain.

Why now? Caltrain ridership has dwindled due to the pandemic, and proponents claim the future of the transportation service could be in jeopardy if two-thirds of voters across the three Bay Area counties it serves do not vote in favor of the measure.

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