Santa Clara County voters opened their wallets Nov. 6 when they overwhelmingly approved Measure A, a countywide sales-tax increase, and Measure B, a parcel-tax renewal supporting the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
Measure A, a 0.125 percent hike in the county sales tax initiated by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, passed with 56.36 percent of the vote. When the increase takes effect in April, consumers can expect to pay 8.5 cents in taxes on every dollar they spend.
According to the Board of Supervisors, the increase will generate approximately $500 million in additional county revenue over the next decade.
Under the current sales-tax rate of 8.375 cents for every retail dollar, the county collects only revenue reallocated to it by the state; 7.25 cents goes directly to the state and 0.125 cents to regional transportation. As income from the new sales tax flows into the general fund, the county intends to support local priorities such as law enforcement and social services.
Voters showed continued support for Measure B – a parcel tax that renews the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan developed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District in 2000.
“With the passage of this measure, the Santa Clara Valley Water District will be equipped to invest in the important water supply, flood protection and watershed stewardship needs of the county,” wrote water district CEO Beau Goldie in a post-election statement.
The water district’s parcel tax passed with 73.12 percent of the vote, an increase of more than 5 percent since the last parcel tax was approved in 2000.
Homeowners currently pay an average of $53.22 per year for the water district parcel tax. The rate will rise to $56 in 2013 and an additional 3 percent each subsequent year until 2028.
The Santa Clara County Water District is responsible for managing the water supply and protecting the district’s 275 miles of streams and 66 miles of public trails.