Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 21st) is your last chance to turn in ballots for Oakland’s special election! If you have not yet mailed in your ballot, you’ve missed your chance. But you can still submit your ballot by hand – take it to the Registrar of Voters office in the County Courthouse at 1225 Fallon Street in downtown Oakland.
A quick reminder about what’s on the ballot:
- Measure H: Amends the City’s real estate transfer tax to clarify that it applies to corporate mergers and acquisitions. Revenue generated by this in any given year is unpredictable, but based on historical data, it is expected that it will average a little over $4 million annually.
- Measure C: Increases the hotel tax and splits the increase between cultural institutions and the Oakland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (OCVB). Does not bring in any new money for the City, but will increase available funding to the Oakland Zoo, Chabot Space and Science Center, and the Oakland Museum. And the OCVB.
- Measure F: Increases the tax rate on marijuana dispensaries, expected to generate an extra $300,000 for the City next year.
- Measure D: Reduces the City’s set-aside for youth programs to a higher level than it has been in the past, but a lower level than was required by Measure OO, which passed on last November’s ballot. Will save the City $3.6 million next year.
Please make sure to turn in your ballot, and please do not vote against Measure D because you want to punish the City Council for not stripping every last penny from youth programs or whatever it was you would have preferred to see happen. Every penny earned or saved from the passage of these measures will help to prevent further cuts to City services.
And just in case you have any doubt about how desperate the City is for cash, here’s some sobering news. The City has been informed that of the 140 police officers we applied for grant funding for from the CHRP program, the maximum we will be getting funding for is 40.7 officers. Which leaves us with $11.3 million to find somewhere in this year’s budget and $16.3 million from next year’s just to close that gap.
The Council will be discussing balancing measures needed to close new budget gap at a special meeting next Tuesday (PDF).