San Bruno measure to raise sales tax appears headed for defeatBy John Cot
A proposed sales tax increase in San Bruno that was in a dead heat after election day appears to have gone down in defeat after provisional ballots and last-minute absentee votes gave opponents an 89-vote lead, election results show.
Supporters of Measure F, which would have boosted the sales tax by half a penny to 8.75 percent, said Tuesday that the margin looks insurmountable.
"It appears to be a significant enough number where you're not going to have a review," said Mayor Larry Franzella, who backed the measure along with the rest of the City Council.
The election results will probably be certified at the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, county elections manager David Tom said.
The sales tax measure was one of two Bay Area races, along with the mayoral contest in Vallejo, that finished in a dead heat after election day Nov. 6.
When the election night counting from all 28 precincts in San Bruno was finished, the vote stood at 1,934 votes in favor of Measure F and 1,934 against. When all the provisional ballots and absentee ballots were tallied days later, the vote was 2,634 against and 2,545 in favor.
City officials said the sales tax increase was needed to improve streets and pay for city functions such as police services after four years of budget cuts. Opponents argued that city leaders were to blame for budget problems and that a higher sales tax could drive out retailers.
Only about 21 percent of registered voters cast their ballots in the municipal election.
"Votes definitely count," Franzella said.
Copyright ©2007 San Francisco Chronicle. Published 11/21/2007.