presents
Voter’s Edge California
Get the facts before you vote.
Voter’s Edge California
Go to top
Brought to you by
MapLight
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
San Mateo County Libraries Voter Guide@SMCLibraries
June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
Invest in unbiased information

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.

— Cannabis Operations General Tax —

County
June 5, 2018 —California Primary Election

Santa Barbara County
Measure T2018 - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

66,161 votes yes (75.83%)

21,091 votes no (24.17%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (196/196).

Shall the measure adding Chapter 50A to The Santa Barbara County Code imposing a Cannabis Operations Tax on cannabis operators within unincorporated areas of the County upon their gross receipts with rates of 1% on nurseries and distributors, 3% on manufacturers, 4% on cultivators and 6% on retailers and microbusinesses, estimated to raise $5 to $25 million annually for general governmental purposes such as law enforcement, health care, parks, roads and others, with no end date, be adopted?

Impartial analysis / Proposal

This Measure was placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Barbara (County), which is the governing board of the County.

If approved by a majority vote of the voters voting on the Measure, this Measure authorizes the County to impose a tax on cannabis operations within the unincorporated area of the County. The tax would be imposed pursuant to Cal. Rev. & Tax. Code Section 34021.5, as may be amended.

Pursuant to the Ordinance, every person who engages in cannabis operations, including the cultivating, manufacturing, producing, processing, preparing, storing, providing, donating, selling, or distributing cannabis or cannabis products within the unincorporated area of the County would pay to the County Treasurer-Tax Collector a tax on the gross receipts of each of their operation’s activities involving cannabis or cannabis products, as follows:

     1. Nursery: 1% of gross receipts; and
     2. Distributor (excluding Distributor Transport Only):1% of gross receipts; and
     3. Manufacturing: 3% of gross receipts; and
     4. Cultivation: 4% of gross receipts; and
     5. Retail: 6% of gross receipts; and
     6. Microbusiness: 6% of gross receipts.

The tax would be a general tax as authorized by California Constitution Article XIII C Section 2 and Cal. Gov. Code Section 53723 as may be amended. As a general tax, the revenue generated may be used for any general governmental purpose.

/s/ Michael C. Ghizzoni
County Counsel

February 26, 2018

— Santa Barbara County Counsel

Financial effect

The passage of this measure would allow for the taxation of cannabis operations in the unincorporated area of the County of Santa Barbara (“County”). The measure would establish a cannabis operations tax on the gross receipts of medical and non-medical cannabis businesses operating within the unincorporated area of the County. Different tax rates would apply to the gross receipts from cannabis operations depending on the business license type. The business license types and the respective tax rates on their gross receipts are as follows: Nursery at 1%, Distributor at 1% (excluding Distributor Transport Only), Manufacturing at 3%, Cultivation at 4%, Retail at 6%, and Microbusiness at 6%. The tax revenue generated would be available for general governmental purposes.

Fiscal impacts associated with this measure include increased unrestricted General Fund revenue from the cannabis operations tax paid to the County and increased General Fund expenditures for costs related to tax collection and administration. These revenues and costs depend on a number of unpredictable variable factors, making them difficult to project. These variable factors include the number and type of cannabis businesses regulated by the County, consumer demand for cannabis, competition from cannabis businesses located in other jurisdictions and the market price of cannabis. All of these factors may change over time.

Based on a consultant’s study of the commercial cannabis industry in the County, estimated revenues from the cannabis operations tax could range from approximately $6.7 million to approximately $29.6 million annually. This estimate considers the County’s established cannabis operators, the number of State issued licenses in the County and a wide range of both market price and production estimates. Actual General Fund revenues may be significantly different depending on the variable factors noted above.

Increases to General Fund expenditures also are uncertain, however, the County Treasurer-Tax Collector estimates annual expenditure increases of approximately $1.0 million for costs of tax collection and administration based on increased contractual expenditures and the hiring of four new positions. These costs would be funded by general County revenues.

/s/ Theodore A. Fallati, C.P.A.
County Auditor-Controller

 

— Santa Barbara County Auditor-Controller

Arguments FOR

Voters in Santa Barbara County overwhelmingly supported Proposition 64, which legalized recreational cannabis and passed in November 2016 with 62% approval of County voters voting on the proposition. It is one of the few measures to gain voter approval in all 8 cities in our county.

Following legalization, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors embarked on a year-long process to review land use, public safety, environmental and other issues. After more than 27 public hearings, the Board adopted an ordinance that includes buffer zones around schools, residential neighborhoods and other sensitive areas, and mandates odor control.

With legalization comes needed enforcement, education and other services. Santa Barbara County needs to tax cannabis growers and businesses to wenforce our ordinance and fund other priorities such as the Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney’s office, mental health services, public health and other general services.

Opponents will claim that the money will simply go into the general fund. What they won’t tell you is that the general fund is what funds all of the critical departments listed above.

Whether you agree with the legalization of cannabis or not, it is imperative that we tax the industry to ensure compliance and to eradicate the black market.

Please join us in supporting Measure T to ensure that cannabis operators pay their fair share.

The undersigned proponent(s) or author(s) of the primary argument in favor of Ballot Measure T2018 at the Statewide Direct Primary Election for Santa Barbara County to be held on June 5, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his knowledge and belief.

/s/ Das Williams 2/27/18

Chair of the Board of Supervisors, on behalf of the Board of Supervisors, County of Santa Barbara

— Santa Barbara County Clerk, Recorder and Assessor

Arguments AGAINST

We oppose Measure T-2018. To begin with, by requiring our politicians tell us exactly how they’ll spend new taxes protects taxpayers by creating accountability and transparency. However, this requirement doesn’t exist with a “General-Tax”. Consequently, general-taxes have zero taxpayer protections, and no accountability.

Measure T is another new tax SUPPOSEDLY to be used mitigating public safety impacts from commercial pot-grows in our county. In fact, it’s another blank check to be spent on general county services. The county is so mired in debt, any additional revenues will likely be squandered maintaining the status-quo, because the Board of Supervisors refuse to address its structural deficit, especially in the employee pension program.

The County faces a $50 million deficit due to misplaced spending priorities. Another blank check will result in more wasteful spending without the critical taxpayer protections we deserve.

We believe Santa Barbara County should tax commercial pot-grows to protect families from the black market of organized crime, including foreign drug cartels which these pot-grows often attract.

That is why we need these funds specifically earmarked for police-protection, and law-enforcement. We need best management practices to protect neighborhoods impacted by commercial pot-grows; which means much stronger code-compliance and better code-enforcement.

A “Specific-Tax” spent on specific priorities would pass if the politicians offered you the opportunity to approve it. But they didn’t do that because they want to spend the money how they want it spent, not how we want it spent.

Say NO to another blank-check by voting NO on another general-tax increase. Demand our politicians come back with a carefully thought out list of priorities, and responsible uses; funded and protected via a special-tax.

Let’s not gamble with our quality of life and the public health and safety of Santa Barbara County’s residents.

The undersigned proponent(s) or author(s) of the primary argument against Ballot Measure T2018 at the Statewide Direct Primary Election for Santa Barbara County to be held on June 5, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their knowledge and belief.

/s/ Peter L. Adam 2/28/18 Santa Barbara County Supervisor

/s/ Joe Armendariz 2/28/18 Executive Director, SB County Taxpayers Association

/s/ Susan L. Brown 2/28/18 Sergeant, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department (Retired)

/s/ Tobe Plough 2/28/18 Long Time Montecito Resident

— Santa Barbara County Clerk, Recorder and Assessor

Replies to Arguments FOR

The proponents say the County embarked on a year-long process to review issues surrounding countywide marijuana grows.

The two cities most impacted by marijuana operators in our County, Carpinteria, and Goleta, oppose the regulatory framework the County adopted to mitigate impacts from marijuana grows.

Opposing Measure-T isn’t about opposing the legalization of Marijuana. It has solely to do with demanding our politicians be accountable by specifying how they will spend future new taxes.

Might the taxes from Measure-T be used for public safety and code enforcement? Maybe…

Problem: The County recently lowered assessed values on 53 properties due to the Thomas Fire totaling $163 million. Several more coastal properties will also be reassessed downward due to Montecito’s mudslide. The cost to rebuild Montecito is expected to exceed $50 million.

The County ALREADY had a $50 million structural deficit!

Should we believe more no-strings taxes will be spent protecting neighborhoods from added crime and odors associated with pot grows? The politicians will spend the taxes how they always do, on employee salaries and benefits.

We should tax commercial pot-grows to protect neighborhoods from odors and families from the black market of organized crime.

That’s why these funds MUST be earmarked for police protection, law enforcement, and code compliance. tA general tax doesn’t compel that.

Demand our politicians come back with list of health and safety priorities, and other essential uses; funded and protected via a special tax.

Don’t gamble with the quality of life, health, or safety of county residents.

The undersigned author(s) of the rebuttal to the argument in favor of Measure T2018 at the Statewide Direct Primary Election for Santa Barbara County to be held on June 5, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of our knowledge and belief.

/s/ Peter Adam March 12, 2018 4TH District County Supervisor

/s/ Joe Armendariz March 12, 2018 Executive Director, SB County Taxpayers Association

— Santa Barbara County Clerk, Recorder and Assessor

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Unless you are a cannabis cultivator or user, you will not pay one cent of this tax!

Now it is up to voters to decide if cannabis cultivators should pay their fair share to ensure proper, and proactive, enforcement on the industry; education on the use of cannabis, including drug and mental health programs; and increased need for public safety officers.

Once collected, the “general tax” will become a part of the general fund. Over 50% of the County’s General Fund goes to public safety. As noted above, many other services will be needed to offset the effects of cannabis. The General Fund is what pays for all these services.

The question being asked of you on June 5th is simple: do you support cannabis cultivators paying their fair share to offset the impacts of the development of the industry? The answer is clear: Vote yes on Measure T.

The undersigned author(s) of the Rebuttal to Argument Against Ballot Measure T2018 at the Statewide Direct Primary Election for the County of Santa Barbara to be held on June 5, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their knowledge and belief.

/s/ Das Williams March 12, 2018 First District Supervisor, Santa Barbara County

/s/ Steve Lavagnino March 12, 2018 Fifth District Supervisor, Santa Barbara County

— Santa Barbara County Clerk, Recorder and Assessor
Use tabs to select your choice. Use return to create a choice. You can access your choices by navigating to 'My Choices'.

On your actual ballot, you can vote 'yes' or 'no' on this measure.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

PUBLISHING:PRODUCTION SERVER:PRODUCTION