Oakland votes to tax pot to boost revenue


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About $9 million was at stake in the election.

City Council President Jane Brunner said last week the city is counting on all the measures passing because every dollar is precious in Oakland, where the council was forced to slash $83 million in funding so that its $414 million budget for fiscal 2010 is balanced.

Brunner said she was most interested in the fate of Measure D, which modifies a similar measure, called Kids First, which voters approved last year.

It would require the city to set aside 3 percent of its annual unrestricted general purpose fund revenues for grants to children and youth services.

Brunner said it is expected to raise about $3 million this year and up to $17 million in future years.

The measure appears to have passed with 71.5 percent of the vote, according to preliminary election results.

Measure C, the only measure that needs two-thirds approval, would increase Oakland's hotel tax by 3 percentage points, to 14 percent.

It's expected to generate an additional $2.8 million this year for a total of $12.9 million. Preliminary results indicate 76.6 percent of voters approved the measure.

Measure F, which appears to have passed with 79.9 percent of the vote, would tax gross receipts of all cannabis businesses at a 1.8 percent rate. It's expected to generate $294,000.

Measure H would ensure that property transfer taxes be applied to properties that change hands, including those that are a results of mergers, acquisitions and other corporate ownership changes. The measure appears to have passed with 74.6 percent of the vote.

City officials estimate that it would generate $4.4 million in additional tax revenue.

Oakland residents have been turning in their ballots by mail or in person for the last several weeks.

According to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, the preliminary results do not include most ballots turned in today and official results are expected later this week.

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