How North County’s communities voted on city, county and state ballot measures
From cannabis taxes to flavored tobacco and gambling, here is how North County communities voted on the city, county and state ballot measures during the Nov. 8 election.
Results are current as of Nov. 28, with about 8,700 ballots still to be counted.
CITY OF SAN DIEGO
Measure B, a ballot measure that would allow the city to charge single-family homes for trash collection, is on pace for a narrow victory of less than one percentage point. Due to a century-old law, single-family homes get free trash collection from the city and residents in multi-unit housing have to pay for private collection.
Supporters, including San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera, have said the measure would help create a more equitable system. But homeowners have argued that they already pay for the service with their property taxes.
In a few different North County communities, where homeowners face an additional cost they’ve never had before, voters were generally opposed to Measure B.
Measure C asked voters whether the city should abandon the 30-foot height limit in the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan area. This ballot measure is also clinging to a narrow margin of victory among voters citywide.
Supporters say that removing the height limit would allow more affordable housing as the centerpiece of a revitalization in the area. Opponents have spoken out against the added density and boon for developers.
The No on C campaign found plenty of votes in North County, but not enough to overcome the margins that supporters ran up elsewhere in the city.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY
North County joined the rest of the county in supporting Measure A, which adds taxes on cannabis businesses in the unincorporated area. According to the ballot measure, the taxes include 6% for retail, 3% for distribution, 2% for testing, cultivation at 3% or $10 (inflation adjustable) per canopy square foot, and 4% for other businesses. It is projected to raise approximately $2.9 million to $5.6 million per year.
The tax revenue would go toward parks, fire safety, roads, social equity programs and other purposes.
Supporters, including three Democratic members of the County Board of Supervisors, say the taxes would be consistent with the taxes paid by cannabis businesses elsewhere in San Diego County. They also said in their official ballot argument that the tax revenue would help fight illegal cannabis sales, although taxes that drive up the cost of legal weed have been cited as one of the key reasons why illegal sales continue to thrive.
Opponents argued that it’s a tax on unincorporated San Diego County businesses without any guarantee that the revenue serves their communities.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Propositions 26 and 27
Voters throughout California, including throughout North County, roundly rejected two propositions aimed at expanding gambling. Proposition 26 would have allowed sports betting on tribal lands, and Proposition 27 would have allowed online sports betting on platforms that have partnerships with Native American tribes.
Despite this setback in California, the gambling industry has led the recent surge in legalized gambling in many other states since a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that struck down a federal ban on states allowing sports betting.
North County voters also contributed to a resounding victory for Proposition 31, which bans in-person and vending machine sales of most flavored tobacco products and products that enhance the flavor of tobacco.
The passage of Proposition 31 could result in a loss of up to $100 million per year in tax revenue from tobacco sales, according to the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (tax revenue from tobacco sales was approximately $2 billion last year).
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