(Bay City News and KQED) With only about 3,000 San Mateo County ballots left to count, a new tax on car rental businesses in the county is up by 644 votes, according to results from the June 5 election released last night.
Measure T could bring the county an estimated $7.8 million annually by imposing a 2.5 percent tax on car rental agencies in unincorporated areas.
Proponents of the new tax, who include members of the Board of Supervisors and the county superintendent of schools, argued that the tax would raise revenue to help preserve county services without impacting local residents.
Measure T opponents, including the citizens' group Taxpayers for a Strong Economy and the general managers of the Best Western Grosvenor and San Francisco Airport Marriott hotels, argued that the new tax would hurt the tourism and hospitality industries.
Measures U and X, which would have raised the transient occupancy tax by 2 percent and imposed a new tax on parking facilities, appear to have failed, both garnering only 47 percent support.
All three measures require a majority vote to pass.
The San Mateo County Elections Division expects to have counted most of the remaining ballots by Wednesday afternoon.
On Friday, elections officials will carry out a manual audit that is open to the public, and the results will be submitted to the state for certification in one to two weeks.