Measure W

Alameda County Temporary Sales Tax Increase

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ALL ALAMEDA COUNTY—Would establish a half percent (0.5%) sales tax for 10 years to provide essential County services, including housing and services for those experiencing homelessness, mental health services, job training, social safety net, and other General Fund services, with annual audits and citizen oversight. Measure W requires a simple majority (50% + 1) to pass.

Fiscal Impact: Would raise approximately $150 million annually for each of the 10 years that the tax remains in effect. The current sales tax in most of Alameda County, including Oakland, would be 9.75% (up from 9.25%) if this measure passes.

Next Alameda County Measure: Measure X



Proponents of Measure W argue that the measure provides urgently needed funding that Alameda County can use to: provide housing assistance, mental health resources, and substance abuse treatment for vulnerable residents; help people who are at risk of homelessness stay in their homes increase hygiene and sanitation services; support homeless veterans, seniors, and families with services; increase employment opportunities through job training; and shelter people experiencing homelessness to reduce COVID-19 impacts. They argue that the measure will help prevent local residents from becoming homeless in the first place, citing a statistic that 82% of those who are currently experiencing homelessness in Alameda County lived in the County before losing their home.

A YES vote on this measure means: A one-half (½) of one percent sales tax would be imposed in Alameda County and remain in effect until March 31, 2031. (Campaign Website)


Opponents of Measure W argue that the measure is a regressive tax that will mostly hurt the less fortunate citizens that it promises to help, and that the true reason for the tax increase is to pay off pension debt. They argue that the annual audits and oversight committee are ineffective because the County Board of Supervisors has the authority to spend General Fund taxes any way they want.

A NO vote on this measure means: A one-half (½) of one percent sales tax would not be imposed in Alameda County and remain in effect until March 31, 2031.

In Depth
In Depth:

Measure W would impose a transactions and use tax at the rate of one-half of one percent on the sale and use of tangible personal property within Alameda County, including the incorporated and unincorporated areas. The tax would remain in effect until March 31, 2031. Per the measure’s ordinance, if approved, the tax will be used for purposes consistent with general fund expenditures of the County and the tax is enacted solely for general governmental purposes. The proceeds from the tax shall be placed in the County’s general fund.

The County’s Board of Supervisors would establish and appoint a citizen oversight committee to review and report on the tax’s expenditures annually. The citizen oversight committee would publicly disclose the tax’s expenditures and report to the Board.

Source: County Counsel's Impartial Analysis of Measure W

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