Measure W - County Sales Tax Increase
Recommendation - No Position
Alameda County voters are being asked to pass another sales tax increase this November. Measure W would enact a half percent sales tax for 10 years to raise $150 million annually. The original intention behind the measure was to dedicate it specifically to funding homelessness services - which would have required a 2/3rds passage - however in the final weeks the Board of Supervisors switched it to a general tax, which requires only a majority vote. While County leaders have promised to use the funding for social safety net programs, that is no guarantee in the tight budget years ahead. Those wishing to see the money go toward homelessness will need to advocate during each budget cycle. Alameda County's current base sales tax rate is 9.25%, however pending the outcome of a lawsuit against another recent sales tax increase - Measure C from March 2020 - the base rate will likely be 9.75%. The Chamber supported Measure C for its dedicated funding for early childhood education and UCSF/Benioff Children's Hospital, however the Chamber will not be taking a position on a second sales tax increase this year in the absence of a dedicated and detailed funding requirement to serve our unsheltered neighbors.