Stanton voters overwhelmingly supported two measures that would tax cannabis businesses and increase hotel taxes within the city, according to early results.
As of the final election night update at 10:30 p.m., the cannabis tax (Measure A) led with 67 percent voting yes, while the hotel tax increase (Measure B) led with 63.5 percent voting yes.
The next update is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday. A final tally likely will not be released until Friday night, when the final mail-in ballots can arrive at the county election office and still be counted.
Measure A aims to establish a tax on cannabis businesses operating within the city of Stanton if the city council or residents vote to legalize the substance.
Proponents of the measure wrote in ballot arguments that proposed tax rates would raise between $1 million and $4 million per year “for local city services” and that the measure would “provide resources for the removal of illegal dispensaries…that impact the cost of public safety to Stanton taxpayers.”
In opposition, a Stanton taxpayer wrote in ballot arguments that the tax hike would promote “illegal sales and illegal activities” within the city.
Measure B deals with increasing hotel room taxes from 8 percent to 12 percent, in response to the growing use of third party booking companies like Airbnb and VRBO.
The tax’s proponents state in their ballot arguments that the measure “won’t increase taxes on Stanton residents”, but on people visiting the city. The arguments in favor also state “the $250,000 provided by this tax would improve public safety” and “keep Stanton’s budget balanced.”
Opponents argued that the tax could “hurt the resale value” of homes in the region. One resident in ballot arguments also wrote it isn’t just a tax on hotels, but on “residential homes, mobile homes and apartments” that any person could live in.
Updates on the results will be provided throughout the night as ballots continue to pour in from the city’s voting precincts.
Brandon Winchester is a reporting intern for Voice of OC’s youth media program, where the newsroom works with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County.