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December 8, 2019

Voters approve three local measures

Cannabis tax, hotel tax increase, appointive city clerk win

Morgan Hill’s voters expressed their resounding preference for a hotel tax increase, a cannabis business tax program and an appointive city clerk in the Nov. 6 election.

The three local measures won by a landslide, with more than 8,000 total votes cast on each of the questions sponsored by the City of Morgan Hill.

With the passage of Measure H, the city’s transient occupancy or hotel tax will increase from its current rate of 10 percent to 11 percent. More than 6,800 voters, or 78 percent, voted in favor of the hotel tax increase Nov. 6, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. Ballots against Measure H totaled 1,877, or about 22 percent.

The hotel tax increase is expected to generate about $270,000 annually for the city’s general fund, which funds basic services such as public safety and street maintenance.

About 6,700 voters cast ballots in favor of Measure I, which would establish a business tax for the commercial cannabis industry, if the city council ever allows such industry in Morgan Hill. Voting against the cannabis tax measure were 1,830 voters, or about 21 percent of the votes cast.

The ballot measure language states that annual cannabis tax rates in Morgan Hill would be no more than $15 per canopy square foot for licensed cultivation operations and up to 10 percent of gross receipts for all other cannabis business in the city limits. The tax would generate between $340,000 and $750,000 annually for the city’s general fund.

On Measure J, which asked if the Morgan Hill City Clerk position should be appointive, 4,928 or 61 percent of voters voted yes. Voting no were 3,181 electors.

The local city clerk position, currently occupied by Irma Torrez, has been elected since Morgan Hill’s founding. With the approval of Measure J, the position will be appointed by the city council.

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