More Del Norte voters supported a tax measure that would benefit the Crescent City Harbor than opposed it, according to preliminary election results Tuesday evening.
Of 7,127 ballots counted as of 9:42 p.m. Tuesday, 54.69 percent of Del Norte County voters approved Measure C with 45.31 percent voting against the citizens initiative, according to the Del Norte County Elections Office.
If approved, Measure C would increase the transient occupancy tax visitors to hotels and motels in the unincorporated part of Del Norte County from 8 percent to 10 percent. The citizens initiative would also establish a 2 percent transient occupancy tax on RV spaces within the unincorporated part of Del Norte County. The revenue generated by the tax would be used to help the Crescent City Harbor District pay down a $5.3 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan and make much-needed repairs to its facilities.
However, there is still some question as to whether a two-thirds majority or a 50-percent-plus-1 majority will be necessary for Measure C to pass. County Counsel Elizabeth Cable doesn't address the issue in her impartial analysis of Measure C, according to the Del Norte County Sample Ballot & Voter Information Guide. In a comment to the Triplicate on Oct. 11, Cable's office stated that the county counsel hasn't taken a public position on the matter nor on how her office will advise the elections clerk following the election.
Though he was in the lead for Crescent City Harbor commissioner, commercial fisherman Rick Shepherd, one of the main supporters of the the Save the Harbor 2018 campaign, said he was more concerned with the outcome of the citizens initiative.
"We want that two-thirds majority so there's no controversy," he said. "I was hoping it passes by 67 percent."