The Tuesday, Nov. 6 ballot will be crowded with four countywide measures and 11 state ballot measures. For voters in St. Helena, Calistoga and American Canyon, there’s an additional municipal or school board measure.
St. Helena voters will cast their ballots on Measure C, which if passed will allow school district officials to sell $30 million worth of bonds for replacement of the swimming pool, the auditorium and for improvements in facilities, including technology.
Bond Measure C is summarized as follows: “To improve student achievement, college/career readiness, and student safety by upgrading classrooms and instructional technology for improved teaching/ learning in technology, science, math and other core subjects; replacing/constructing/improving school facilities, including the high school auditorium, and safer playing fields; and improving energy efficiency/conservation, generating savings to support instruction, shall St. Helena Unified School District issue bonds not to exceed $30 million, at legal interest rates, with citizens’ oversight, annual audits and all funds benefiting local schools?”
If passed, the tax increase is estimated at $22 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. The measure needs a “yes” vote of 55 percent to pass.
In Calistoga, voters will be asked to repeal the city’s Ordinance 681, which amends the city’s zoning ordinance to allow the development of the Silver Rose project at 400 Silverado Trail. The Calistoga City Council approved Ordinance 681 in May, but those who objected to the Silver Rose project collected enough signatures to place Measure B on the Nov. 6 ballot. It requires a majority of “yes” votes to pass.
American Canyon voters are being asked to increase the length of the term of mayor from two years to four years. It is Measure G and requires a majority of “yes” votes to pass.
Four countywide measures are also on the ballot: Measures S, T, U and V. It’s likely you’ve heard of T, which extends a half-cent sales tax for 25 years to repair roads throughout the county, but maybe you have not heard of the others.
• Measure S changes the existing requirement for a runway at the Napa County Airport. Instead of being constructed to a maximum dual-wheel load-bearing strength of 50,000 pounds, the runway will be built in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration standards whenever repair and replacement is necessary.
• If passed and adopted, revenues from Measure T will be used “exclusively to fix potholes, repair, maintain and improve local streets, roads and sidewalks” throughout the cities and unincorporated areas of Napa County. The current half-cent sales tax is being used for flood control projects and Measure T will take over after the current sales tax expires in about six years. The road tax will be imposed for 25 years. It requires a two-thirds “yes” vote to pass.
• Measure U asks, “Shall the Angwin General Plan Amendment Initiative be adopted?” The initiative would redesignate certain lands in Angwin from urban residential to agricultural, watershed and open space (AWOS) or public institutional; permit modernization and expansion of a sewage treatment plant on Howell Mountain Road; and prohibit further subdivision of public institutional lands countywide.
• If passed by voters, Measure V would allow the existing restaurant and banquet facilities at Chardonnay golf course to be open to the general public.
A fiscal impact statement on Measure U is required by 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, according to a legal notice filed by Registrar of Voters John Tuteur and printed in the Star last week.
There are 11 statewide ballot propositions. The main points of each are as follows:
• Prop. 30 increases personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years and increases sales and use tax by one-quarter cent for four years. Eighty-nine percent of the resulting tax revenues would be used by K-12 schools and 11 percent for community colleges. Estimates of the revenue increases vary from $6.8 billion to $9 billion for 2012-13 and from $5.4 billion to $7.6 billion in the following five fiscal years with lesser amounts in 2018-19.
• Prop. 31 deals with the state budget and state and local governments. Mainly, it would establish a two-year budget cycle, and prohibit the Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified. It permits the governor to cut the budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if the Legislature fails to act.
• Prop. 32 restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting the use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. It also prohibits unions and corporations from contributing directly or indirectly to candidates and candidate-controlled committees.
• Prop. 33 changes current law to permit insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company and allows the companies to give discounts to drivers with some prior insurance coverage.
• Prop. 34 repeals the death penalty as the maximum punishment for those found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. It is retroactive to those already sentenced to death and creates a $100 million fund to be distributed to law enforcement agencies to help solve more homicide and rape cases.
• Prop. 35 increases penalties for human trafficking including prison sentences up to 15 years to life and fines up to $1.5 million, requires sex offender registration and training of police officers. The fines collected will be used for victim services and law enforcement.
• Prop. 36 revises the state’s “three strikes law” to impose a life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent. If passed, the initiative also authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if the third strike conviction was not serious or violent and the judge determines the sentence does not pose an unreasonable risk to public safety.
• Prop. 37 requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways and prohibits labeling or advertising such foods as “natural.”
• Prop. 38 increases personal income tax rates for annual earnings over $7,316 using a sliding scale from 0.4 percent for lowest individual earners to 2.2 percent for individuals earning more than $2.5 million, ending after 12 years (2024). During the first four years, 60 percent of revenues will go to K-12 schools, 30 percent to repaying state debt, and 10 percent to early childhood education. Thereafter, if passed, the measure allocates 85 percent to K-12 schools and 15 percent to early childhood education programs. Revenue estimates are $10 to $11 billion per fiscal year beginning in 2013.
• Prop. 39 requires multi-state businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California and dedicates $550 million annually for five years to fund projects that create energy efficiency and clean-energy jobs in the state.
• Prop. 40 is a referendum on the 40 revised state Senate boundaries that resulted from the 2010 federal census. It seeks to block the boundaries set by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
(The information for this story on the ballot measures was gathered from the office of the Napa County registrar of voters and from the secretary of state’s website. To read the entire ballot measures and the fiscal impact of each, visit sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/qualified-ballot-measures.htm.)