San Jose Tax Counting Every Vote

November 18, 2008

San Jose, California’s Measure B went before voters earlier this month, proposing a 1/8-cent sales tax increase to fund operations of a proposed extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. On the day after the election, though, it looked like Measure B would fall just short with only 66.3% of the vote.

Counting of absentee and provisional ballots has continued, and that percentage has slowly inched up. It looks like many of these ballots split 70-30 for the tax, and today the running total crossed the two-thirds threshold, 407,932 to 203,954. That’s only 8 votes above the two-thirds requirement threshold. 9800 ballots still need to be counted.

For the past few days when it looked like the tax had failed, news articles and op-eds generally talked about how proponents just hadn’t made a compelling enough case. Discussions began about a scaled down project that the public might approve. There’s nothing inherently magical about 50%-plus-one, and Californians seem to treat their supermajority requirement as just another hurdle that taxes must survive before they can be imposed.

Was this page helpful to you?


Thank You!

The Tax Foundation works hard to provide insightful tax policy analysis. Our work depends on support from members of the public like you. Would you consider contributing to our work?

Contribute to the Tax Foundation

Related Articles