By Bay City News
Voters in nine cities and unincorporated areas of Santa Clara
County on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed Measure A, a parcel tax that will continue funding libraries for the next 20 years.
Of the 55,022 residents who cast votes in the all-mail election, 81 percent favored maintaining the annual tax, which has been in place for most of the past two decades, according county Registrar of Voters.
The tally exceeded the two-thirds approval required for Measure A to pass.
The initiative essentially renews a similar measure originally passed in 1994 and since reauthorized by voters that was set to expire this year.
The tax is levied on homes and property, and the rates will stay the same under Measure A, meaning owners of single-family homes and condominiums will continue to pay $33.66 per year, deputy county librarian Carol Frost said.
The $6.2 million raised through the tax each year accounts for 18 percent of the Santa Clara County Library District's budget. The district is governed by the Library Joint Powers Authority of Santa Clara County's board,
The money will be used to purchase up-to-date books and research materials; provide children's reading programs and mobile book services for seniors and the disabled; maintain library hours; retain qualified librarians, and other library services, according to the measure.
The district includes unincorporated areas of the county and the cities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill and Saratoga, according to the district's website.
The measure will also renew taxes levied on non-residential properties, which range from $84.15 to $252.50 per acre annually, according to the library district.
The Registrar of Voters mailed out about 204,000 ballots to district voters for the special election starting in July, registrar spokeswoman Shannon Bushey said.