Measure O passed Tuesday night with approximately 80 percent of Isla Vista voters choosing to approve the special tax to fund additional park services in I.V.
The county elections office counted 551 mail-in ballots Tuesday night, 79.64 percent of which indicated “yes” on Measure O. The measure needed a two-thirds majority in order to pass.
Starting in June, I.V. property owners will be taxed $28.75 per household bedroom and 7.185 cents per square foot of commercial space annually for the next 10 years. The revenue will go toward The Isla Vista Recreation & Park District (IVRPD), the special district that maintains I.V. parks and infrastructure.
There are approximately 8,377 bedrooms and 215,862 square feet of commercial space in Isla Vista, which means the tax could add $256,348.43 to IVRPD’s annual revenue.
IVRPD officials told the Nexus in January that they plan to use the additional revenue to address the “backlog of deferred maintenance” in I.V.’s parks.
Pegeen Soutar, the IVRPD board chair, told the Nexus in January that she hopes the tax revenue could bring reclaimed water into I.V. through a contract with the Goleta West Sanitary District.
After Measure O passed Tuesday night, Soutar said the special tax adds “a nice amount of money” for IVRPD to “do improvements that will directly affect everyone.”
“This is wonderful, and it’s really wonderful for Isla Vista, too,” she said. “In the end, it’s this funding that will really help create community in Isla Vista.”
The county elections office will be continuing to count late mail-in ballots for the next few days.
“I’m pretty darn sure they’re all going to be ‘yes,’” Soutar said.