PIEDMONT -- Voters rallied behind Measure Y on Tuesday, approving a parcel tax that supporters said was needed to help pay for police officers, firefighters and other essential services.

The measure, which needed a two-thirds majority to pass, got about 69 percent of the vote.

Measure Y calls for the average property owner to pay about $411 annually. Owners of larger parcels will pay $476, while owners of commercial properties of 10,000 square feet or more will pay $925.

Measure Y is expected to raise about $1.6 million annually and help pay for the ongoing maintenance of the city's infrastructure, including parks.

Supporters said the tax was especially necessary since the almost-exclusively residential Piedmont does not generate high sales taxes and so officials must rely on property and real estate transfer taxes for money.

But opponents maintained that city officials should do more to curb spending instead of taxing residents.

They pointed to the more than $2 million that was pulled from the city's General Fund to bridge shortfalls for the Piedmont Hills undergrounding project, and what they considered wasteful spending for environmental studies and litigation that stemmed from the scrapped Blair Park project to build a soccer field on Moraga Avenue.

Measure Y will renew a tax that has been in effect for 32 years. The current tax will expire June 30.


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Contact Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty/.