From affordable housing to district elections and term limits, California voters are asked to weigh in on a plethora of local ballot measures this Tuesday. Below are some citywide measures we’re watching in the state’s most populous cities.
Click on each ballot measure designation to learn more about the proposal. When you're done with this list, check out our guide to county ballot measures at CaliforniaCountyNews.org.
Measure LH would authorize the development of up to 5,000 low-income housing units in all 15 of the city’s council districts.
Measure B would let the city start charging for trash pickup from those San Diegans (around 53%) who have been exempt from trash pickup fees for around a century. Estimates say each customer would pay $23 to $29 per month, but there's a chance the final cost could exceed those estimates.
Measure C would allow construction of new buildings over 30 feet in the Midway District, making the district exempt from height limits imposed in 1972.
Prop A would allow city employees who retired before November 6, 1996, to receive a supplemental cost of living adjustment to their pensions regardless of whether the retirement system is fully funded. It would also allow the Retirement Board to enter into an individual employment contract with its executive director.
Prop C supports creation of an oversight commission to oversee the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. It also requires the city controller to conduct audits of homeless services.
Prop D would eliminate the need for Board of Supervisors' approval for construction of affordable housing projects using city property or city financing.
Prop E would continue to require the Board of Supervisors' approval for affordable housing projects using city property or city financing.
Prop H would change the elections for Mayor, Sheriff, District Attorney, City Attorney, and Treasurer from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years (in November of presidential election years). It would also change signature requirements for ballot initiatives from 5% of votes cast for mayor to 2% of registered voters.
Prop L would continue a one-half cent sales tax through 2053 for transportation project funding and allow the Transportation Authority to issue up to $1.91 billion in bonds for transportation projects.
Prop M would allow the city to levy a tax on owners of vacant residential units in buildings with three or more units if the units have been vacant for more than 182 days in a year. The rates are $2,500–5,000 per vacant unit in 2024 with inflation adjustments thereafter through 2053.
Prop O is a parcel tax of $150–4,000 per parcel, beginning July 1, 2023 and ending on June 30, 2043. Revenue would go to the City College of San Francisco for student and workforce development programs.
Measure M would hike the city's sales tax rate from 7.98% to 8.5% in order to improve facilities and services for Fresno veterans. This is a special tax requiring a two-thirds majority.
Measure O would make it unlawful to camp on public property. It also requires the city to provide a certain number of shelter beds. Implementation of this measure, if it passes, still requires a partnership agreement between the city and county.
This proposal comes amid a 70% rise in homelssness in Sacramento. Measure O is a major issue in the campaign for Sacramento City Council.
Measure S would amend the city charter to allow non-citizen parents or caregivers of a child to vote for the Office of Oakland School Board Director.
Measure R would remove gender-specific language from the City Charter.
Measure T would support creation of a progressive tax rate structure for business taxes. Specifically, it would support a structure that imposes the highest rates on the highest grossing businesses, imposing business tax rates of .05% to .55% of gross receipts.
Measure V would stop no-fault evictions for children and educators during the school year among other renter protections.
Measure W would amend the City Charter to establish public funding for candidate election campaigns. Eligible residents would get $100 of public money to spend on candidates for some city offices. This is an attempt to increase voter participation.
Measure X would create term limits for City Council members and clarify campaigning rules for current officials. It would require two hearings before the council can place a measure on the ballot, require that absent council members be counted as "no" votes when the mayor is breaking a tie, and have the Public Ethics Commission set the salaries of the city attorney and auditor.
Measure L would no longer require police and fire chiefs to be chosen from within their respective departments.
Measure J would make customers of online travel agencies like Expedia and Priceline pay the 15% hotel bed tax. This is an effort to close a loophole in the hotel tax law. It could yield an additional $3 million in transient occupancy tax revenue per year.
Measure K makes a number of changes to the City Charter. One of these is the elimination of the requirement that board and commission members be citizens of the United States.
Measure H authorizes an additional sales tax of 1% to go toward general services.
Measure C would limit council members and the mayor to two consecutive terms and require a two-year break before they can serve again.
Measure 3 would clarify the attorney-client relationship between the city attorney and the city, specifying that the City Council controls all legal matters. Importantly, it allows the City Council to contract with other attorneys if the city attorney has a conflict of interest.
This measure arose from a controversy involving City Attorney Michael Gates, which you can read about here.
Measure O asks: “Shall the City adopt an Ordinance that taxes cannabis businesses up to 6% of gross receipts for retailers and up to 1% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses if they were to be permitted in the City; which is expected to generate an estimated $300,000 to $600,000 annually to fund general municipal services for Huntington Beach and will be levied until repealed by the voters?”
This measure was placed on the ballot by the City Council. It would not automatically legalize cannabis businesses, which are currently prohibited in Huntington Beach, but it would put a pre-emptive tax structure in place. This measure requires a 50% + 1 majority.
Measure E authorizes an additional sales tax of 1% with revenue dedicated to general purposes.
Measure Q would authorize an additional sales tax of 1% with revenue dedicated to general services.
Measure H supports renewal of the 1/4¢ public safety sales tax for 20 years. This would raise $10 million per year.
Measure I would amend the City Charter to affirm the transition from at-large to district-based elections.