Passage of Ballot Measure To Increase Alameda County Sales Tax To Fund Health Care Facilities Appears Possible
A measure on Tuesday's ballot that would increase the sales tax in Alameda County by half a cent to provide about $90 million annually for Alameda County Medical Center and other health care facilities received approval from 69.6% of voters with more than 80% of precincts reporting, the Tri-Valley Herald reports (Vesely, Tri-Valley Herald, 3/3). Measure A required a two-thirds majority to pass. The measure will increase the county's sales tax to 8.75% (DelVecchio, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/3). According to the Contra Costa Times, the increase would make Alameda County the county with the highest sales tax rate in the state (Ashley, Contra Costa Times, 3/3). Three-fourths of the revenue from the increase would go to Alameda County Medical Center -- which operates three public hospitals in Oakland and San Leandro, and community clinics in Oakland, Hayward and Newark -- and 25% of the revenue would go to private health care providers that serve Medi-Cal beneficiaries and indigent patients (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/3). The Alameda County Medical Center has an estimated $71 million budget deficit (California Healthline, 2/11). "This isn't about increasing services. We need this measure just to allow services to survive," Gail Steele, president of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, said, calling Measure A the "single most important measure we've ever voted on in this county" (Contra Costa Times, 3/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.