Pacific Grove Library parcel tax, Measure Q (November 2010)

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A Pacific Grove Library parcel tax, Measure Q ballot proposition was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in Pacific Grove in Monterey County.[1] It was defeated.

The parcel tax, if it had been approved, would have levied $90 for each land parcel and $45 for each rental unit in an apartment building.[2] The tax would have been in effect for 10 years, adding about $600,000 to the library's annual operating budget. At the time of the vote, the library was receiving about $420,000/year from the city's general operating budget. If Measure Q had passed, the library's annual budget would have doubled.

Pacific Grove voters narrowly rejected Measure J on the November 3, 2009 ballot. The November 2010 ballot measure was worded differently from 2009's Measure J. Measure Q was worded to ensure that any funds raised from the tax, if it had passed, would only go to support the library and could not be transferred to support other city operations.

In spite of the tweaks to Measure Q to address concerns some voters had about the earlier Measure J, Measure Q failed by a wider margin.[3]

A two-thirds supermajority vote was required for Measure Q to pass.[4]

Election results

Measure Q
Defeatedd No2,54238.22%
Yes 4,109 61.78%
These final, certified results are from the, California, “November, 2010, local ballot measures”.

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure Q: "Shall a new Chapter 6.70 be added to the Pacific Grove Municipal Code to impose a tax at the rate of $90.00 per year for all Owners of Parcels in the City of Pacific Grove as well as $45.00 per year per unit for multi-Common Household units, in order to create a dedicated and restricted revenue source solely to provide, maintain, and improve core library services for the Pacific Grove public Library in the City of Pacific Grove such?"[5]


A group called the "Citizens Steering Committee for the Pacific Grove Public Library" played a key role in supporting the November 2010 vote for a parcel tax for the library.[6]

A group called "Yes on Q" was established once Measure Q was on the ballot. Members included Judy Archibald, Marilynn Gustafson, Greta Miller and Susan Steele.[7]

The Monterey County Herald editorial board endorsed a "yes" vote on Measure Q, saying, "Though we know of no one who enjoys tax increases, we believe most P.G. residents should have no problem with a very modest tax increase if it means protecting and strengthening a community treasure."[8]


Pacific Grove residents Jim and Lee Willoughby formed a group to oppose Measure Q. The view of this group was that it was preferable if the Pacific Grove library joins the Monterey County Free Libraries system to ensure stable funding for operations.[7]

Path to the ballot

The measure was voted onto the ballot in a unanimous vote of the Pacific Grove City Council.[9]

At the meeting where the city council approved placing the measure on the November ballot, city council member Lisa Bennett held aloft a quarter, indicating that each property owner in the city will only be taxed at the rate of one quarter a day if the measure passes.[9]

City council member Robert Huitt rebuked Bennett for this gesture. Huitt said that times are tough and it was not appropriate for a city politician to imply that some sacrifices are so small that they are essentially negligible. He said that residents of the city are routinely giving up small luxuries in order to make ends meet in today's tough economic climate and "We should acknowledge that we're asking people to make a sacrifice."[9]

See also

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