Landscape And Lighting Tax Resoundingly Defeated
Emeryville property owners spoke in a loud and clear voice Tuesday, and they resoundingly defeated a tax increase proposal called the Lighting and Landscape Assessment tax. The final vote was some 90.9% against the proposed tax hike.
Of a total 4677 parcels in town, each given a ballot, 2224 ballots were received by City Hall. 489 ballots were YES votes and 1735 were NO, about 78% of the total ballots.
The reason for the discrepancy (90.9% vs 78%) is that businesses were given a greater say per ballot.
City Clerk Karen Hemphill this morning said of the vote, "It's too early to say for sure but probably most YES votes were residents. Still, more residents said NO than YES". She added "We need to wait for the redacted tabulations to be made public, probably sooner than two weeks". The documents need to be redacted before the results are made public since ballots contain personal information about voters and the city needs to protect their privacy. Ms Hemphill indicated that the sour economy is likely a key reason why this proposal was so resoundingly defeated, "Everyone is suffering, business as well" she said.
City Hall has indicated the results of the assessment vote will be lowered services in the form of dirty streets, shabby parks and such. While it's clear this is how most residents wanted public policy to go, a reading of the skewed ballot value in favor of business reveals it's primarily the business sector that said no to clean Emeryville streets and parks.
Readers that wish more information can wait until City Hall produces an "e-news" story at the city's website. Also for information about how the vote formula was conceived, the Tattler reported the story in a May 5 edition.