Majority of parcel tax elections held in San Francisco Bay Area in 2018

There was a decade high of 100 parcel tax measures on local ballots across California in 2018. A parcel tax is a type of property tax commonly used in California that is based on units of property rather than property value and has revenue dedicated to a specific purpose. These taxes can be levied by cities, counties, school districts, and special districts.
 
In 2018, the majority (71.4 percent) of all parcel tax elections took place in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is consistent with trends tracked by Ballotpedia over the last decade. Between 2008 and 2017, 64 percent of all parcel tax elections took place in the Bay Area, which comprises nine counties.
 
Of the 100 parcel tax measures in 2018, 65 were approved, and 35 were defeated. The highest parcel tax rate to be approved was $6,000 per parcel for vacant properties in Oakland, with funds earmarked for addressing homelessness and illegal dumping. The highest school parcel tax was proposed in Kentfield School District of Marin County, where voters approved a tax rate of $1,498 per parcel with a 3 percent automatic annual increase.
 
Parcel taxes require two-thirds supermajority votes (66.67 percent) at the ballot to be approved. The California Constitution requires a two-thirds supermajority vote for all special local taxes, as opposed to general taxes with revenue that can be used for any purpose. General local tax measures require a simple majority vote for approval.



About the author

Jessica Martini

Jessica Martini is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at jessica.martini@ballotpedia.org

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