The legality of Measure K, a Yuba County sales tax, is still pending before a court of appeal, according to Yuba County Counsel Mike Ciccozzi.
The measure was passed in 2018 with a simple majority of 53 percent and raised the sales tax by 1 percentage point in unincorporated portions of Yuba County. In December 2018, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and Yuba County citizens Charlie Matthews and John Mistler challenged the measure, arguing that it should have been classified as a special tax, which requires a two-thirds majority for passage.
A Yuba County Superior Court judge agreed in September 2019, ruling that the measure should have been a special tax because the language in the measure mentioned specific uses for funds collected, such as public safety services. The county appealed the Superior Court ruling. The tax became law in April 2019, while the lawsuit was pending.
“The parties have submitted their written briefs to the court,” Ciccozzi said. “The county was joined in support of upholding Measure K by California State Association of Counties in this proceeding.”
The tax continues to be collected but the funds are being held in a separate account and will remain there until the court makes its ruling, according to Yuba County media and community relations coordinator Russ Brown.
If the measure is struck down by the court, the money collected would be subject to a claims process, Brown said. As of this month, approximately $9.3 million has been collected from Measure K, according to Brown.
“Over the past year, the advent of COVID-19 has caused some delays in the hearing process, but things are moving forward,” Brown said.