City of Santa Cruz parcel tax, Measure E (November 2008)

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A City of Santa Cruz Parcel Tax for Beaches, Measure E ballot question was on the November 4, 2008 ballot for voters in the City of Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz County, where it was approved.[1]

Measure E authorized the City of Santa Cruz to levy a $28 parcel tax for single-family parcels, $94 for other developed parcels, and $10 for undeveloped parcels. It was expected to raise $700,000/annually.

A two-thirds supermajority vote was required for approval.

Election results

Measure E
Approveda Yes 23,112 76.25%
These final, certified, election results are from the Santa Cruz County elections office.



The arguments in favor of Measure E in the official voter guide were signed by:

  • Jack O'Neill, O'Neill Wetsuits, O'Neill Sea Odyssey
  • Laura J. Kasa, Executive Director, Save Our Shores
  • Joseph Marini, President, Marinis At The Beach
  • Lisa C. Sloan, Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences; Director, Climate Change and Impacts Laboratory
  • Fred Keeley, Trustee, California Ocean Science Trust

Arguments in favor

The arguments in favor of Measure E presented in the official voter guide included:

  • "We love Santa Cruz for its beaches, ocean and natural beauty. Our local economy and community's health depend on protecting this beautiful environment."
  • "Each year our streets and parking areas produce pollutants which enter the river and ocean. It's time to prevent and treat this pollution in order to protect our public health, fish and wildlife."
  • "Measure E will help keep our water clean, protect our children and families, and reduce contamination of our river, beaches and ocean by dangerous bacteria and toxic substances."
  • "Measure E will improve our storm drains and reduce stormwater pollution before it reaches the beaches and the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary."
  • "Measure E will help prevent pollution in the San Lorenzo River, provide for removing trash and debris, and help restore its natural environment."
  • "Measure E keeps ocean waters cleaner for surfers, swimmers, and all ocean activities."
  • "Strict new state regulations have increased the requirements for clean-up of beaches and ocean pollution. Measure E allows our community to continue its leadership in protecting our beaches, ocean and river. Without Measure E, cuts in other vital services will need to be made as the City fulfills these new requirements."
  • "Measure E is an investment in our community's future. It will fund engineering, cleaning and restoration projects to ensure that our commitment to clean ocean, beaches and river continues for future generations."



The arguments against Measure E in the official voter guide were signed by Aldo Gianncho.

Arguments against

The arguments against Measure E in the official voter guide included:

  • The measure is written in a non-specific way, so taxpayers don't know what they'd actually get if it passes.
  • "The City already imposes a Fee to fund stormwater runoff projects. The "Santa Cruz City Storm Water Enterprise Utility Fee" has been on our property tax bills since 1994. It has been used to improve San Lorenzo River bridges and levees, but it has not produced any visible storm water pollution abatement. Now that the bridges and levees are restored, this existing Fee should fund stormwater projects, as originally promised. The new Tax is a ruse to get additional money, on top of the existing levy, without any specific improvement guarantee."
  • "Runoff is largely caused by factors such as parcel size, area covered by buildings and pavement. The existing Fee recognizes this through a non-single-family dwelling rate of $261.08 per acre. The proposed new Tax is arbitrary and does not consider parcel size."
  • Measure E "imposes the Tax for the fiscal year which began last July, even though voters will not vote on it until November. The retroactive imposition of the tax violates the constitutional provision (Art. 13C) that no Special Tax may be imposed until approved by the voters."

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure E: "To protect public health and the environment by reducing pollution, trash, toxics and dangerous bacteria in our river, bay and ocean; helping to keep beaches clean; protecting fish and wildlife habitat; shall the City of Santa Cruz adopt a Clean River, Beaches and Ocean Tax, with revenues spent locally under independent citizen oversight? The annual rates will be $28 for single-family parcels, $94 for other developed parcels, and $10 for undeveloped parcels."[2]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Santa Cruz's Measure E would raise money to clean waterways," September 28, 2008 (dead link)
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.