Voters in the city of Gonzales (Monterey County) appear to have resoundingly rejected a 0.5 percent sales tax increase in a special election that concluded August 30, according to preliminary results.
Measure D would have increased the transactions and use tax to raise revenue for construction of a community center. As a special tax, Measure D required two-thirds voter approval to become operative.
The sales tax increase received only 51.67 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results, leaving it approximately 15 percentage points short of passage.
There is a potential for the results to change dramatically, however, as the preliminary tally included just 478 votes in a city with 3,630 registered voters. Ballots in the vote-by-mail election are still being received and will be counted if postmarked by August 30 and received by September 6.
The city’s description of Measure D as the “Gonzales Community Center Temporary Tax Measure” was viewed as misleading by some residents, as the “temporary” tax would have remained in effect for 40 years.
The city estimated that the tax hike would cost taxpayers $750,000 annually.
In 2019, city staff estimated that the cost of building a 23,000-square-foot community center would be $20 million. Costs for labor and construction materials have increased dramatically since 2019, and the cost estimate likely would be much higher if made today.