Mail-in ballots went out to San Mateo County residents this week. On them is a series of city, district and state ballot measures. Voters will need to do a little homework before marking their ballots or heading to the voting booth this month. The following is a brief summary of the measures, but more detailed information and arguments are included in the sample ballot and voter information guide sent out to every voter.
City of Half Moon Bay: Measure U
Measure U asks whether residents wish to approve an increase in the transient occupancy tax collected by hotels and other overnight accommodations from their guests to be paid to the city’s general fund. The tax would increase from 12 percent to 14 percent on July 1, 2021, and to 15 percent on July 1, 2022. The city estimates it will generate $1.5 million annually to support city services. It requires a simple majority for approval.
Yes: Those in support of the measure say it will fund critical services for a marginal cost to tourists and note it won’t cost city residents anything.
No: Opponents say the added tax will further deter overnight visitors, particularly the lucrative conference business. It could be harmful for the hospitality industry, which is emerging from the pandemic.
Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain): Measure RR
Measure RR would institute a sales tax of 0.125 percent in the city of San Francisco and Santa Clara and San Mateo counties for the next 30 years. The tax is expected to generate $100 million per year to help fund Caltrain’s operations and expenses, prioritizing expanding frequency and capacity of service through the San Francisco-Gilroy corridor. It requires a two-thirds vote for approval.
Yes: Supporters say the funds will reduce traffic, create jobs and make local public transportation more safe, affordable and accessible.
No: Opponents say the sales tax will disproportionately burden low-income residents. And due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public transportation is becoming less desirable.
If passed, Proposition 14 would authorize $5.5 billion in state bonds for stem cell and other medical research.
If passed, Proposition 15 would calculate property taxes for those valued above $3 million based on current market value rather than purchase price to create revenue for local schools and government.
If passed, Proposition 16 would allow governments to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity and national origin in public decision-making, overturning prior bans on affirmative action.
If passed, Proposition 17 would restore voting rights to felons who are U.S. citizens and California residents during parole after they complete their prison term.
If passed, Proposition 18 would allow 17-year-olds who are otherwise eligible to vote in primary and special elections if they are set to turn 18 before the general election.
If passed, Proposition 19 would allow disaster victims and those over 55 or disabled to transfer their tax assessments up to three times when moving in-state.
If passed, Proposition 20 would change prison penalties to limit access to parole for repeat offenders of certain non-violent theft-related crimes.
If passed, Proposition 21 would allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old.
If passed, Proposition 22 would classify app-based drivers as independent contractors instead of employees, exempting employers from providing standard benefits.
If passed, Proposition 23 would require a doctor to be onsite during any in-state dialysis treatment and would prohibit clinics from refusing to treat patients based on income source.
If passed, Proposition 24 would expand consumer data privacy laws to allow consumers to prevent businesses from sharing and using certain personal information.
If passed, Proposition 25 would replace the current cash bail system with a new one based on public safety and flight risk, prohibiting charging fees as a condition of release.
All state ballot measures require a simple majority vote for approval.