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City of Oakland parcel tax, Measure I (November 2011)

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A City of Oakland parcel tax, Measure I ballot question was on the November 15, 2011 ballot for voters in the City of Oakland in Alameda County.[1][2]

If the measure had been approved, a parcel tax of $80 per parcel per year would have been levied.

A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for passage.[1]

24.92% of Oakland's registered voters, or 49,058, cast a ballot in the election.[2]

Election results

Measure I
Defeatedd No31,35362.25%
Yes 19,011 37.75%
Election results are from the Alameda County elections office.


Council member Pat Kernighan supported Measure I, saying, "We’re only talking about 80 dollars a year...Most people can handle that. That’s only 25 cents a day. I as an Oakland resident would pay 10 times that much in order to get a bigger police department and also for these other basic services."[3]

Mayor Jean Quan supported Measure I.[4] The enactment of Measure I was a core part of Quan's plans for the city's budget. When it became clear that Measure I had gone down to defeat, Quan released a statement that said in part, "The city finances remain very fragile. Fortunately the city has for the first time in many years the required $30 million in reserves. I will continue to work with the community to find new ways to generate revenue including economic development projects and attracting new businesses to Oakland."[5]

Quan blamed the loss of Measure I partly on the "Occupy Oakland" movement taking up so much attention and time in the crucial last weeks leading up to the election: "This is the type of campaign you need to put your full heart and soul in."[5]


"No on I" website banner

Opponents included Len Raphael. He said, "I oppose it primarily because our city officials are raising taxes before they have a sustainable fiscal plan for more than a few months into the future. Hard to believe, but there really is no one running the financial show here other than on a day-by-day, month-by-month basis."[6]

City Council member Ignacio De La Fuente was an opponent. He objected to Measure I because it did not include a guarantee that the City of Oakland would, in fact, spend the money on hiring more police: "Voters in Oakland and home owners are taxed to the max. I don’t believe the explanation in the ballot assures the voters how the money is going to be used."[3]

Oakland attorney Marleen Sacks opposed Measure I. She said, "Why would you give a blank check to anyone, particularly someone who has misspent money in the past?"[4]


Chip Johnson, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, said, "It's tough to hear Oakland city officials describe Measure I as a mechanism to fund public safety when less than half of the money the city hopes to raise with this parcel tax could be used to put Oakland police officers on the street....When voters begin casting their vote-by-mail ballots next week on Measure I, they won't know exactly how their additional $60 million in taxes over five years would be spent - or even whether it would be spent to hire more police officers."[7]

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE I: "Shall the City of Oakland establish a five year temporary fiscal emergency parcel tax to preserve essential city services, including fire, police services, and police technology, youth violence prevention, library, services, parks and recreation, and street repair, by establishing an $80 parcel tax for single-family homes and specified amounts for multi-family and commercial properties with an exemption for low-income households?"[8]

See also

External links