City measures T1, U1, V1, W1, X1, Y1, Z1, AA pass; measures BB, CC, DD fail

Goldia Kiteck/Senior Staff

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Update 11/09/16: This story has been updated to reflect that 99 percent of precincts have reported in Alameda County.

Measure T1: Allowing the city to issue bonds for infrastructure renovation — Passes

The city of Berkeley will now be able to issue general obligation bonds not exceeding $100 million to renovate the city’s infrastructure and facilities with the passage of Measure T1 with 86.46 percent of the vote as of press time.

Unanimously placed on the ballot by Berkeley City Council, the measure will involve the reconstruction and improvement of streets, sidewalks, parks, storm drains and senior centers.

Measure U1: Increasing the business license tax to 2.88 percent — Passes
Measure DD: Raising the business license tax to 1.5 percent — Fails

Berkeley citizens voted to pass Measure U1 on Tuesday with 74.06 percent of the vote as of press time, which will increase the business license tax from 1.081 percent to 2.88 percent on landlords with five or more units, with exemptions.

Landlords will not be able to pass the tax rate increase of about 1.8 percent onto their tenants. Competing Measure DD — which would have raised the business license tax on landlords with three or more residential units to 1.5 percent — failed to pass, with 70.76 percent against.

Measure U1 was placed on the ballot unanimously by Berkeley City Council. The tax increase will not apply to nonprofit organizations that provide affordable housing units or to new developments for their first 12 years as residential rental units.

Measure DD was sponsored by the Berkeley Rental Housing Coalition — the legal and political arm of the Berkeley Property Owner’s Association. With more than $500,000 in contributions, Measure DD received more contributions than any city ballot measure or city candidate this election year.

Measure U1 is expected to add between $2.63 million and $3.1 million annually to the city’s general fund.

Measure V1: Allows Berkeley to spend proceeds of approved taxes — Passes

With the passage of Measure V1 with 87.22 percent of the vote as of press time, the city of Berkeley can continue to spend the proceeds of already approved taxes through the fiscal year 2020.

California law limits city spending to appropriating the amount of taxes, adjusted for inflation, that the city spent in the 1986-87 fiscal year. Measure V1 will not increase existing taxes or impose new taxes.

Measure W1: Creating a citizens redistricting commission — Passes

Measure W1, which transfers the responsibility of redistricting from Berkeley City Council to a citizens redistricting commission, passed by winning 87.61 percent of the vote as of press time.

The measure amends Article V of the Berkeley City Charter to create the commission, which will be composed of 13 Berkeley citizens, independent of political and legislative influence, who represent the city’s population.

Measure X1: Instituting an optional public campaign financing program — Passes

Berkeley voters approved Measure X1 with 64.22 percent of the vote Tuesday as of press time, establishing an optional public campaign financing program for mayoral and Berkeley City Council candidates.

Measure X1 does not increase taxes but amends the City Charter and Municipal Code to allocate $4 per Berkeley resident from the General Fund to a new Fair Elections Fund. To be eligible for public financing, a candidate must agree to only accept individual contributions of $50 or less and collect at least 30 contributions of between $10 and $50 from Berkeley residents.

The fund is expected to allocate about $500,000 per year and will be capped at $2 million. The Fair Elections Fund could pay up to $250,000 during a four-year election cycle in administrative and enforcement costs.

Measure Y1: Allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to vote for Berkeley school district Board of Directors — Passes

Measure Y1 has passed with 68.50 percent of the vote Tuesday as of press time, authorizing Berkeley City Council to adopt an ordinance granting 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote for the Berkeley Unified School District Board of Directors in an attempt to increase voter turnout.

The measure stipulates that no city funds can be used for any expenses related to the ordinance and it will not increase election costs to the city. According to the city attorney’s impartial analysis of the measure, a drafted ordinance would have to maintain the consolidation of municipal and county elections and stipulate a “technically workable” method of youth voting.

Measure Z1: Allowing city development of 500 affordable housing units — Passes

Measure Z1, which allows the city of Berkeley to develop up to 500 units of affordable housing, has passed with 82.60 percent of the vote as of press time.

The California Constitution requires that a city’s voters grant prior approval to a public entity to develop below-market-rate housing. This measure does not approve any individual project, and all projects subject to this grant of authority will be required to comply with all applicable laws.

Measure AA: Increasing tenant protections — Passes

Berkeley voters passed Measure AA on Tuesday with 72.29 percent of the vote as of press time, which will place more regulations on owner move-in evictions.

Among other provisions, the measure will prohibit owner move-in evictions of families with school-age children during the academic year and increase the relocation assistance fee required after owner move-in evictions.

Before this measure was passed, the Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance set the relocation assistance to $4,500 only for low-income tenants. Now, the ordinance will be amended by the measure, requiring owners to pay $15,000 in relocation assistance for all move-in evictions and an additional $5,000 for low-income, disabled or elderly tenants, among others.

Measure BB: Increasing minimum wage to $15 by 2019 — Fails
Measure CC: Increasing minimum wage to $15 by 2017 — Fails

Measures BB and CC — two ballot measures that would raise the minimum wage at different rates — failed to win the Berkeley vote Tuesday after a successful “no-no” campaign meant to maintain an existing raise in minimum wage.

City-backed Measure BB and labor-backed Measure CC had 65.98 percent and 65.90 percent vote against, respectively, as of press time.

The council later passed an compromise ordinance in August that is set to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by October 2018.

Measure E1: Funding Berkeley public schools with annual tax — Passes

Residents have voted to pass Measure E1 — the Berkeley Public Schools Educational Excellence Act of 2016 — with 88.28 percent of the vote as of press time, allowing the Berkeley Unified School District to replace its expiring special tax with an annual tax of $0.37 per square foot for taxable buildings for eight years.

The previous tax cost 34.36 cents per square foot for commercial buildings and 22.80 cents per square foot for residential buildings. The money raised from the newly adopted measure will be used to support aspects of Berkeley public schools including school libraries, training for teachers, student support, music programs and instructional technology.

Measure A1: Creating affordable housing with $580 million in bonds — Passes

Alameda County residents voted to pass an affordable housing bond with 72.28 percent of the vote as of press time with 93 percent of precincts reported, allowing the county to issue up to $580 million in general obligation bonds to provide vulnerable residents with affordable local housing and other forms of assistance.

The measure will enable the county to obtain or renovate property in order to provide affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households, veterans, seniors and people with disabilities to protect them from being displaced from their communities. The measure will also provide supportive housing for homeless people and home-buying assistance for low- to moderate-income households.

Measure C1: Reinstating parcel tax to fund public transportation — Passes

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District can now extend its existing $96 annual parcel tax at current levels for 20 more years after Measure C1 was passed with 82.03 percent of the vote as of press time with 92 percent of precincts reported.

The approximately $30 million expected to be raised annually from the extension of the parcel tax will go toward protecting local public transportation services, providing reasonable fares and creating transportation options that are more convenient for seniors and people with disabilities.

Measure RR: Approving bond to finance BART infrastructure — Passes

70.98 percent of Alameda County voted to pass Bond Measure RR as of press time with 93 percent of precincts reported, designed to increase funding to BART to maintain safety, prevent accidents and breakdowns, relieve overcrowding, reduce traffic and improve accessibility.

The measure issues $3.5 billion of bonds for financing projects to improve BART’s infrastructure. These funds may not be used for any purpose other than to fund projects within BART’s transit system, such as upgrading the system’s tracks, tunnels and train control systems.

The measure estimates a property tax increase of about $2 per $100,000 of assessed valuation in the fiscal year 2017-18 and about $17.50 per $100,000 of assessed valuation in the fiscal year 2035-36.