June 2022 ballot measure imposes a single-use disposable cup tax

Updated: Apr 29



Update February 15, 2022:

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to place a local measure on the June ballot allowing half of all disposable to-go cup fees collected in unincorporated areas of the county to be used for clean water protection, waste reduction, wildfire prevention, trash and litter clean up, maintenance of parks and public areas, environmental programs, and other general services.


If the new measure is approved by voters, the proposed new rules would allow the County to receive half of the existing fee to fund a variety of environmental programs. The other half would be kept by businesses to cover the cost of collecting and accounting for the fees.


The fee is scheduled to go into place July 1. Aimed at encouraging the use of reusable cups to help reduce litter and preserve landfill capacity, the entire 25-cent fee is currently kept by retailers. Read more at https://protectourcoast.us.


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Original post:

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday, February 15, 2022 to put a countywide measure on the June 2022 ballot imposing a single-use disposable cup tax.


25 cents per cup is currently collected. The county now hopes to define half of that as a tax to spend $700,000 on programs. The tax revenue will go into the general fund.


Read the board item at

https://santacruzcountyca.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?Frame=&MeetingID=1919&MediaPosition=&ID=12133&CssClass=


The purpose of the board item is to request that the Board of Supervisors adopt a resolution calling for an election to establish the tax for use on clean water protection, waste reduction, wildfire prevention, trash and litter clean up, maintenance of parks and public areas, environmental education, and other general services.


The measure reads: SANTA CRUZ COUNTY CLEAN WATER/BEACHES, PUBLIC HEALTH, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MEASURE. To reduce pollution, trash and plastics entering local waters and beaches; protect water quality, public health and marine life; address illegal dumping; help prevent wildfires; clean/maintain parks and public areas; and provide environmental education and other general services, shall 12.5 cents of Santa Cruz County’s existing single-use cup charge be collected as a tax until ended by voters, raising approximately $700,000 annually and requiring public spending reports?


If passed by voters, the single-use cup tax would take effect on January 1, 2023 pursuant to the attached draft ordinance amending Chapter 5.47.050 of the Santa Cruz County Code.




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