View of the San Francisco Bay from a residential area in Oakland

(Photo credit: Andrei Gabriel Stanescu)

Oakland Library Measure, Emeryville Housing Measure Appear To Pass

June 06, 2018 - 8:54 am

(KCBS Radio) - While a new tax to fund libraries in Oakland appears poised to pass comfortably in Tuesday's election, a sales tax hike in Alameda County was too close to call and could narrowly fail. Voters in Emeryville appear to have passed a new tax to fund affordable housing projects.

Alameda County's Measure A would impose a half-cent increase in local sales taxes for the next 30 years to generate about $140 million annually to expand access to childcare and preschool for low- and middle-income families.

It requires a two-thirds majority to pass and with 89% percent of precincts reporting as of early Wednesdayhomeless morning, it was falling short of that mark with 65.4% percent support, according to unofficial election results.

Supporters say it would help homeless and at-risk children, help prevent child abuse and neglect, attract and retain quality childcare workers by boosting their pay and add thousands of spaces for childcare at locations throughout the county.

In Oakland, voters appear to have approved Measure D, which imposes a $75 parcel tax to raise about $10 million annually for the city's libraries for the next 20 years.

With 96.7% percent of precincts reporting, 75.9% percent of voters had voted in favor of it.

Supporters said in their ballot argument that the measure is needed because "our Oakland libraries are in trouble," as years of underfunding and rising costs have forced neighborhood branch libraries to close two days a week and keep limited hours.

In Emeryville, voters appear to have approved Measure C with 71.6% percent of the vote and all precincts reporting. The bond measure will tax property owners $49 per $100,000 of their property's assessed value annually for 25 years to generate about $3.4 million a year to fund affordable housing projects in the city.

City and school officials who supported the measure said the funds will go toward developing new affordable housing as well as buying or improving current affordable units in Emeryville.

Supporters said the funds will help low- and middle-income households and local artists to buy homes with first-time homeowner loans and provide permanent supportive housing for homeless people.

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