Election. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times).
A polling place. (File photo)

Santa Cruz Measure A receives overwhelming support

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday night, the single issue on the Santa Cruz city ballot got more than 80% “yes” votes. Measure A would dedicate a larger percentage of money generated by the city’s cannabis tax towards the Santa Cruz Children’s Fund and cement the change in the city charter.

Santa Cruz voters overwhelmingly approved Measure A, with 82% agreeing to increase the percentage of money generated by the city’s cannabis tax given to childhood development programs.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday night, 8,659 people voted in support of the measure out of a total of 10,498 ballots cast. Turnout was low in the off-cycle election, with under 30% of eligible residents turning up to the polls or mailing in their ballots.

The Santa Cruz Children’s Fund currently receives 12.5% of the revenue from the city’s cannabis business tax; the passage of the measure means this would increase to 20%. It also makes the change part of the city charter, meaning any future adjustments would be subject to another election.

If it had been implemented prior to fiscal year 2022, the measure would have increased the revenue allocated to the children’s fund from about $212,000 to about $340,000 for that year, according to an analysis from the city attorney’s office.

The measure the Santa Cruz City Council put on the ballot in June would not increase the cannabis business tax, which was set at 7% of gross receipts when it was adopted in 2014.