Results from the state’s primary election on Tuesday, March 3 seemed to report that Long Beach residents had voted against Measure A– the extension of the 1% tax hike previously approved in 2016.
As of press time, the Los Angeles County Registrar/ Recorder reported 28,088 “no” votes and 27,878 “yes” votes on the measure. Those numbers could change as thousands of ballots remain unaccounted for. The Long Beach City Clerk’s office tentatively scheduled to certify its election results on March 22, and the California Secretary of State’s office mandates all county officials to report final results on April 3.
If it passed, the proposed extension under Measure A would have elongated the tax hike past its original expiration date of 2027. If the extension was approved by voters, the increase would have been adjusted to 2023 until 2023.
Moving forward, the tax would have decreased to 0.75 % until 2027. After 2027, the tax would again rise to 1% and continue until residents voted to discontinue the tax at a future election.
Proponents of the bill include, Mayor Robert Garcia, Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna and Long Beach Fire Chief, Xavier Espino, who claim that the tax would have generated a total of $60 million of General fund revenue.
Supporters say these funds would have been used for infrastructure, police services, paramedic services, and more.
Opponents of the measure include Corliss Lee president of local advocate group Eastside Voice, statistical analyst Joseph Weinstein and local activist Carlos Ovalle, who claim that the increase is a permanent tax on residents– dubbing the bill the “infinity tax.”
They also state that the funds will be used to support pensions and raises, and not police services.
“In order to take your money, they refused to write into the measure a legal guarantee of how it would be spent,” Lee, Weinstein and Ovalle wrote in their statement against the measure. “Instead, it’s a blank check for City Hall.”