Westminster voters approved a hotly contested one-cent sales tax increase Tuesday night, with 60.7 percent of voters approving the measure, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.

And with all 34 precincts reporting, Mayor Tri Ta was overwhelmingly re-elected with 55.4 percent of votes, compared to 33.2 percent of votes for longtime Councilwoman Margie Rice.

Councilman Sergio Contreras was re-elected with 29 points. Businesswoman Kimberly Ho, the second largest vote-getter with 25.5 percent, will take the seat of Councilwoman Diana Carey, who came in third  with 16.7 percent.

Despite the strong support for Measure SS, the sales tax increase, voters rejected the two councilwomen — Rice and Carey — who pushed for it to appear on the ballot.

Supporters of the sales tax increase have pitched it as part of a last-ditch effort to prevent a potential bankruptcy in Westminster, where officials have used reserve funds to balance their budget for the last few years.

City officials estimate the tax increase would raise an additional $13 to $14 million a year.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo. 

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