Atherton parcel tax renewal measure wins by large margin

With all eight precincts in town counted, Atherton's parcel tax renewal measure supporters are likely to be celebrating tonight. The county Election's Office 10:30 report shows Measure X passing by 74 percent, with two-thirds voter approval needed.

The tally, with 1,156 votes in favor and 405 votes against the measure, included all precinct votes and vote-by-mail ballots received by the county by election day, showed

The parcel tax, which expires at the end of next June, raises about $1.8 million annually, and costs the typical homeowner $750 per year.

The tax, which needs a two-thirds vote to pass, was overwhelming approved in 2009, garnering 77.4 percent of voter support. This year, a group of residents, some of whom are active on volunteer town committees, have spoken against renewing the tax in part because of the town's greatly improved financial health and robust property tax revenues.

But supporters, including the four members of the City Council, say the tax is needed to fund critical public works projects and to maintain an effective police force. Tax revenue is split between those two services, with the police department receiving 60 percent.

The town is also trying to pay down its unfunded liabilities from accumulated employee retirement obligations, and recently approved a $2 million payment toward that end, tapping into the town's larger-than-expected $4.9 million surplus.

Because Atherton has no commercial tax base, it relies heavily upon the parcel tax, which has been in place since 1980.

Click here for the Almanac's Voter Guide story on Measure X.


Like this comment
Posted by Mandate
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

The reason Opposition Group gave to vote no was to force the council to reduce police salaries or use the Sheriff.

Seventy-seven percent of the town voted for the Parcel Tax. That is a mandate the council needs to accept.

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