Voters in Oakland's special mail-in election defeated an $80 parcel tax intended to help ease the city's budget problems.
They also turned down Measure J, which would have extended Oakland's deadline to fund the Police and Fire Retirement System. Measure H, which would have changed the way the city attorney is chosen, also was defeated.
The Measure I "fiscal emergency parcel tax" was expected to collect about $11 million annually for five years from single-family homeowners. They would have paid about $400 over five years. Multifamily and commercial properties would have been taxed at a separate rate, while low-income households would have been exempt. The levy was supposed to be spent on city services, including police, fire, youth violence prevention, parks, libraries, fixing streets and filling potholes. But the measure was a contentious one and needed a two-thirds majority to pass.
Measure J would have stretched the city's deadline to pay off the half-billion-dollar debt to the Police and Fire Retirement System pension fund from July 1, 2026, to an unspecified later date. By stretching out the deadline, the city would have increased its interest costs. But the measure would have reduced the city's current annual contribution of $45.6 million per year. The average Oakland homeowner pays a $419-a-year property tax surcharge to fund the pension plan, which serves about 1,155 retired police and firefighters hired before 1976.
Measure H asked voters whether to return Oakland's city attorney to an appointed position. Former Mayor Jerry Brown changed the post from an appointed position to an elected one in 2000, when former Councilman John Russo won the seat. He resigned in May, and Barbara Parker was appointed to fill out his term. She had promised to run if the job remained an elected position.
Mayor Jean Quan and the City Council called for the election earlier this year.
The Alameda County Registrar of Voters office had received 44,790 ballots by Monday from Oakland's 188,026 eligible voters.
The deadline was 8 p.m. Tuesday. The registrar has 28 days to certify the returns.