Among the close races hinging on at least 9,425 uncounted ballots in San Benito County is the proposal for a new business license tax.
Measure H has 51.4 percent of the vote in favor and 48.6 against it after initial vote counts. It needs 50 percent of the vote plus one in order to pass. As of the latest vote counts, 5,583 were in favor and 5,280 were against it. That’s with 11,449 votes counted and another 9,425-plus remaining.
The measure as written would cost between $30 and $118 annually per business depending on factors like the number of employees.
Measure H is a proposal for a business license tax in unincorporated areas of San Benito County, while the entire county electorate was allowed to vote on it as directed by the board of supervisors in August.
One of the supervisors, Jaime De La Cruz, admitted at the time he wanted to do it countywide because there are “more liberal” voters in the City of Hollister deciding on the tax for the unincorporated areas. Supervisor Mark Medina was against the tax proposal at the time.
Measure H as written is meant to provide and increase law enforcement, fire services, road maintenance, and other local governmental services. The tax would be at a rate of $30 to $118 per business, $.66 to $7.80 per employee, and $.10 per ton of minerals depleted, indexed by a COLA, in the unincorporated area of San Benito County.
Other races with close vote counts heading into the tabulation of the remaining ballots include the Measure G sales tax proposal, the Measure X bond proposal floated by Gavilan College, the Hollister School District Board race and the District 3 county board race.