Local measures gain support

Morgan Hill residents will be voting on four local measures on the Nov. 6 ballot. Measure A, which would continue a one-eighth cent sales tax in Santa Clara County, has a group that has organized in favor of the measure. Measure X, the Gavilan college bond, also has a committee organized in its favor.

Measure H, I and J are all City of Morgan Hill measures. No arguments against the local measures were submitted to the city, and those in favor of the measures were authored by the City Council.

A vote in favor of Measure H would raise the transient occupancy tax in Morgan Hill from 10 percent to 11 percent. The money would be used for city infrastructure and safety and added to the city’s general fund. According to the city attorney’s impartial analysis, the increase would result in a $270,000 annual profit.

The argument in favor reads, “The TOT helps ensure that those who visit Morgan Hill and enjoy the services we offer (roads, police, fire, etc.) help pay for the added demand on those services. The cost of providing the high-quality services our community enjoys continues to rise, and city revenues have not kept pace. Increasing the TOT will help pay for these increased costs from visitor stays in Morgan Hill.”

The impartial analysis says Measure I would tax cannabis businesses, if allowed in Morgan Hill, up to 10 percent of gross receipts and $15.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation. The money collected would go to the city’s general fund.

The measure does not allow cannabis businesses in Morgan Hill, but would allow for taxing of business if the city decides to approve commercial cannabis.

“Measure I is fiscally responsible, timely and prudent. Over the past several years, the City of Morgan Hill has addressed ongoing essential needs such as increased public safety and street improvements. By proactively establishing a tax on cannabis businesses, the city’s general fund budget will be protected from new or unexpected costs associated with the cannabis industry, protecting city resources for general municipal services,” the argument in favor states.

“Whether you agree with the legalization of cannabis or not, it is imperative that the city has resources to address the impacts of the cannabis industry and to ensure that the cannabis industry complies with existing laws.”

Measure J in Morgan Hill would make the city clerk an appointed position.

The argument in favor of the measure reads, “As the city has grown and the management of city government has become more complex, the duties, responsibilities and requirements of this position have significantly expanded and become more technical. Today, the city clerk is responsible for implementing critical and complex laws regarding elections, official documents, public records, open meetings, financial disclosures and ethics. Due to these complex responsibilities, the vast majority of cities within the state have transitioned to appointed city clerk positions.”

The Santa Clara County measure that will appear on the ballot is Measure A. If passed it will maintain a one-eighth cent tax throughout the county.

A group called the Committee for the Future of Santa Clara County has publicly filed in support of the measure.

The measure’s ballot statement says the money collected from the tax will go toward “law enforcement and public safety; trauma and emergency care; affordable housing; supportive services for the homeless; transit for seniors and the disabled; children and family services; agricultural preservation; and mental health services.”

On the committee’s filings the Valley Medical Foundation and Healthier Kids Foundation are listed as contributors. Valley Medical gave $5,000 to the committee and Healthier Kids gave $48,000.

Morgan Hill residents will also see the Measure X Gavilan College school bond. The measure needs a 55 percent majority to pass. It would authorize $248,000,000 in bonds, which would go toward updating and repairing facilities as well as building a new satellite San Benito campus.

Measure X’s ballot statement says the bond will be used for, “constructing, acquiring, repairing classrooms, facilities, sites/equipment, Veterans Center, adding a campus in San Benito County, improving local access to affordable education.”

The committee “Yes For Gavilan College, Yes on Measure X,” has filed on behalf of the measure. The committee has claimed over $100,000 on contribution reports.

Gavilan College gave $65,000 to the committee.

LOCAL MEASURES ON NOV. 6 BALLOT

Measure H

Shall the Morgan Hill ordinance providing funding, that cannot be taken by the state, for city services including, 911 emergency response times, neighborhood police patrols, and crime prevention; to repair potholes and maintain city streets; and for unrestricted general revenue purposes, by increasing the ongoing transient occupancy tax charged to hotel guests from 10% to 11%, providing approximately $270,000 annually, requiring financial audits, and all funds staying in Morgan Hill, be adopted?

Measure I

Shall the Morgan Hill ordinance, to fund general municipal expenses such as police, fire, roads, recreation, and drug abuse prevention,  by taxing cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates not to exceed $15.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation) and up to 10% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses, which is expected to generate an estimated $340,000 to $750,000 annually and will be levied until repealed by the voters, be adopted?

Measure J

Shall the office of city clerk be appointive?

Measure A

Without increasing current taxes, to fund local priorities such as: law enforcement and public safety; trauma and emergency care; affordable housing; supportive services for the homeless; transit for seniors and the disabled; children and family services; agricultural preservation; and  mental health services, shall the County of Santa Clara continue its existing one-eighth cent sales tax on an ongoing basis, estimated to raise $50,000,000 annually, with annual public reports for fiscal accountability?

Measure X

To upgrade classrooms, science, health care, technology, engineering/career training labs and repair aging facilities, shall Gavilan Joint Community College District’s measure authorizing $248,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying 2 cents per $100 in assessed value, $14,000,000 annually while bonds are outstanding, constructing, acquiring, repairing classrooms, facilities, sites/equipment, Veterans Center, adding a campus in San Benito County, improving local access to affordable education, with citizen oversight, all money locally controlled, be approved?
All Santa Clara County measures can be found online at sccgov.org/sites/rov/Info/Nov2018info/Documents/List%20of%20Local%20Measures.pdf

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