Voters May Choose to Use Real Estate Tax for Childcare

The progressive-backed Prop. C is in the lead, with Prop. D and its poison pill lagging behind.

It appears voters have done their homework. While the ballots are still being counted, Prop. C appears to be inching ahead, with 72,656, or 50.33 percent of the vote, tightly qualifying it for a win. Prop. D, which needs 75 percent or more votes to pass, only has 64,189 votes, or 44.6 percent. 

On the ballot, Props. C and D look fairly unsuspicious. The former promises a 3.5 percent tax increase on commercial property owners, that would pay for universal childcare, early-childhood education, and increased compensation for child-care workers.

The second targets the same type of tax, but only half as much — 1.7 percent. Instead of funding childcare, Prop. D would delegate the funds to homeless services and building middle-income housing, with a tiny portion earmarked to fund single-room occupancy hotels.

But unless you’ve been reading the fine (news) print, there’s a secret poison pill at play here. Only one of these could pass. As Prop. C was put on the ballot by voters, it only needs 50 percent or more votes to pass. Prop. D was put on by politicians, meaning it needs 75 percent or more.

In the end, only one can win: The one with the most votes. With the requirement being higher for Prop. D it’s a harder goal to hit, but if Prop. D passes, it guarantees Prop. C won’t. It’s also entirely possible that both will fail, sending the whole thing back to the drawing board.

The next round of results will be released by the Department of Elections at 4 p.m. Check back with this post for updates. 

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