Watsonville’s half-cent sales tax increase had formidable support from voters in initial results released by the Santa Cruz County Elections Department.
As of Wednesday morning, Measure R had amassed 64.67% of the 3,151 votes tallied. The general tax measure only needs a simple majority for approval.
Placed on the ballot by Watsonville City Council in June, Measure R would raise the city’s sales tax to 9.75%—the highest rate in the county on par with Scotts Valley—and bring an estimated $5.1 million into the city’s general fund. City leaders say the additional revenue would upgrade and upkeep Watsonville’s parks, roads, library and older adult services.
If approved, it would be the second sales tax measure that has received the OK from Watsonville voters in three years. They overwhelmingly approved Measure Y, another half-cent sales tax that replaced 2014’s Measure G, in 2019.
According to the Elections Department, the next update to the voting tally will come Friday, Nov. 11, at 4pm.