It’s Election Day in Sonoma County.
Voters in Santa Rosa will decide the fates of rent control and a marijuana business tax. In Sonoma Valley, the issue is a parcel tax for Sonoma Valley Hospital. And in Healdsburg, voters will decide who fills a vacant City Council seat.
Polls are open until 8 p.m.
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In Santa Rosa, voters will vote on Measure C. If approved, the proposal would cap rent increases at 3 percent annually for apartments built in Santa Rosa before Feb. 1, 1995. It would also make it a requirement for landlords to give a reason for evicting tenants, and in some cases require them to pay relocation expenses. The campaign has become the most expensive in Santa Rosa history, passing the $1 million mark in contributions. The vast majority have come from out-of-state professional real estate lobbies, which have poured more than $800,000 into the effort to oppose the measure. The Yes on C campaign has raised about $170,000, largely in donations form smaller donors, plus a $25,000 boost from San Francisco billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer’s NextGen California committee.
Santa Rosans will also vote on Measure D, which would tax cannabis businesses to help offset the cost of regulating them. The measure has no formal opposition. If approved, the city will be allowed to tax up to 8 percent of gross receipts or $25 per square foot of growing area for marijuana businesses. The proposal mirrors a measure passed overwhelmingly in March by voters in unincorporated Sonoma County.
In the northern part of the county, voters today will choose one of four candidates to replace a Healdsburg City Council seat vacated by Eric Ziedrich. Vying for the job are Gary Plass, Leah Gold, Erica Whisney and Rosie Fabian.
Sonoma Valley Health Care District voters get a do-over on a parcel tax renewal and increase, Measure E, that would continue to support the struggling Sonoma Valley Hospital. A similar measure fell by 64 votes in March.
If passed, the proposal would increase the parcel tax from $195 to $250 a year. The tax currently generates about $3 million a year for the 48-bed hospital. It needs the support of two-thirds of district voters.
Staff Writer Martin Espinoza contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Christi Warren at 707-521-5205 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @SeaWarren.
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