Measure V’s failure a surprise |

Measure V’s failure a surprise

El Dorado County must now turn the clock back with the outcome of Tuesday night’s election results.

With the defeat of Measure V, the county must return to collecting a 1993 rate of 8 percent that lodging establishments charge motel guests.

The county had been charging 10 percent, but a new legal requirement mandated voter approval. The formality would have kept the existing rate in place.

“People thought it was a tax raise,” county Supervisor Dave Solaro said. “The key was in the argument. If they didn’t read it, they wouldn’t know.”

The ballot language contained no argument, which Solaro figured would have led to V’s success.

Disappointed in the outcome, Solaro also compared V to the city’s successful Measure Z, which passed with 56 percent of the vote in the city’s 10 precincts. He points to the lack of an educational campaign for V as the reason for its defeat.

The measure — which has no effect on properties within the cities of South Lake Tahoe and Placerville — failed by 55 to 44.9 percent, with all 157 county precincts reporting.

Countywide, the failure adds up to about $200,000 less going into the general fund, constituting 20 percent of the county’s motel room tax dollars. About half of the $200,000 comes from the Tahoe basin, the county reported.

The money was earmarked to make improvements to the Veterans’ Hall in Placerville.

— Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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