City of Marina Cardroom Revenue Tax, Measure I (November 2013)
|Voting on Gambling|
|Not on ballot|
There were two card rooms in the city of Marina in 2013, Mortimer's Card Room and Cal's Marina Club. Both will be taxed at a rate of 5% on all revenue since voters approved Measure I. The revenue from this tax was estimated to be about $175,000 and was designed to help the city avoid laying off six workers, including three police officers. The council said that they would monitor the impact of the tax throughout the first year and potentially lower the rate if it was proving too severe for the card rooms to handle. There were two other card rooms in Monterey County when Measure I was approved, Bankers Casino in Salinas and Ven-A-Mexico in Soledad, neither of which are charged a revenue tax although they do have business license fees and fees for the operation of each gambling table.
- These final certified results are from the Monterey County elections office.
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
| Measure I:
"Shall an ordinance be adopted requiring each cardroom within the City to pay the City a tax of 5% of annual gross gaming revenues commencing January 1, 2014, to fund general municipal services such as public safety, street maintenance and neighborhood improvements?"
For the full text of the resolution putting Measure I on the ballot click here.
Those supporting Measure I argued that the new tax could pay for one and a half new police officers at a time when the city needed the money since several public safety officer layoffs loomed in the near future. The pro-tax arguments said the Marina cardrooms have been lucky to enjoy a tax-free holiday all this time, while still reaping the benefit of city services.
Mayor Bruce Delgado, who voted against putting Measure I on the ballot, believed that a three percent tax should have been imposed but that three percent should be the maximum rate.
The owners and managers of the two card houses in Marina were opposed to the tax and urged people to see them as small businesses with very small profit margins. Mortimer's Card Room could, according to general manager Jesse Crawford, shut down if the Measure I tax was approved. Crawford said Mortimer's profit margin was only three percent in three of the last six years. Crawford and his stepfather Craig Butcher pointed out that Mortimer's is a 75-year-old Marina Business with 40 employees and about 200 regular customers. "We're a pillar of the community," said Crawford.
Path to the ballot
Early in July the Marina City Council voted 4-1 to allow voters to decide on a five percent tax on cardroom revenues. Mayor Bruce Delgado, who proposed only a three percent tax, was the dissenting vote in the meeting on Measure I.
- Monterey County elections department website
- Smartvoter.com, California, Monterey County information
- Monterey County November 5, 2013 ballot measures
- The Monterey County Herald, "Marina council OKs cardroom tax measure," July 10, 2013
- The Monterey County Herald, "Marina card room puts up fight over tax measure," October 9, 2013
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.