Decision 2020

Voters Pass Several Sales Tax Measures in Bay Area

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Many Americans in the Bay Area are struggling financially during the pandemic, but a majority of voters in Contra Costa County seem to be welcoming tax increases.

In Concord, 51% of voters approved Measure V, increasing the sales tax to raise $27 million a year for the city.

"I don't like taxes," said Michael McDermott, a Concord resident who supports the measure. "I don't like having to raise taxes certainly on myself and other people, but we really haven't been given any choice if we want to keep our city running and get our roads in better repair."

McDermott has lived in Concord for 38 years and voted in favor of the tax hike, which would also pay for public safety and help local businesses. He argues the city badly needs the extra cash.

"There' just not enough money in the city budget to cover the cost of road repair and still maintain our public services, our parks," McDermott said.

But voter Hope Johnson opposes Measure V and said it is unfair to certain groups of people.

"My main concern with a sales tax is that it's a regressive tax and so it places the burden, the hardest burden on people that have fixed incomes, like seniors, and people that are low income workers," Johnson said.

Salex tax increases in Richmond, San Pablo and Orinda were all approved by voters as well.

Measure X, which would raise $81 million a year for the next two decades in Contra Costa County by hiking up the sales tax half a percent, was also approved by voters.

Contra Costa County was not alone, tax proposals in Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin and Solano counties also approved various tax hikes.

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