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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 6:31 am | Fair 44º


Guadalupe Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Tax Measures

Three measures designed to aid the city of Guadalupe’s fiscal woes won by large margins, according to semi-official results from Tuesday’s election.

The three initiatives — Measures V, W and X — will create much-needed revenue for the small city. 

City leaders have said Guadalupe would need to disincorporate if the measures didn't pass. 

All three initiatives received more than 75 percent approval, well above the 50 percent needed to pass.

Measure V will remove the $2,250 annual cap on Guadalupe’s utility users tax, which will remain at 5 percent. This tax is charged on water, electricity, natural gas and telephone services. The measure received 79.8 percent votes in favor and 20.2 percent against.

The current cap only benefits businesses spending more than $45,000 a year in utilities and the change will generate another $100,000 per year for the city. 

Measure W, which garnered 80.6 percent "yes" votes, will replace the current business license fee with a gross receipts tax. The current fee, last changed in 1979, charges $60, $90 or $120 per year.

The measure will charge businesses 50 cents per $1,000 of revenue with a minimum rate of $100 for home-based business or those without an address, such as out-of-town building contractors.

A business based in Guadalupe would pay at least $200. This measure will generate an additional $150,000 per year in revenue.

Measure X drew 76.3 percent "yes" votes and 23.7 percent "no" votes. This measure will add a sales tax hike of 0.25 percent so Guadalupe’s rate of 8 percent would climb to 8.25 percent, matching Santa Maria’s.

It will generate approximately $62,500 per year in revenue.

Voters in the small city also picked a mayor and two council members in Tuesday's election.

Councilman John Lizalde was ahead with 58.3 percent compared to 40.3 percent for Councilwoman Gina Rubalcaba.

The current mayor, Frances Romero, chose not to run for re-election.

Lizalde’s term on the council expired this year and he chose to instead run for mayor. Rubalcaba is in the middle of her four-year term on the council.

Former council members Virginia Ponce and Ariston Julian were in the top two spots for the City Council race with 41.9 percent and 36.4 percent of the vote. Joice Earleen Raguz, currently the city clerk, was in third place with 20.1 percent, according to election results. 

The seats now held by John Sabedra, who chose not to run for re-election, and Lizalde were up for grabs.

The four-year council terms and two-year mayoral term will begin in December.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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