Data obtained by GV Wire suggests that if organizers of a new Measure E sales tax to benefit Fresno State are to succeed in 2024, they’ll need to win over voters in north Fresno, Clovis, and rural communities.
In November 2022, 52.86% of voters opposed the Fresno Couty measure, which needed 50% plus one to pass because it was a voter-sponsored initiative.
That measure sought to raise the countywide sales tax by .20% over 20 years.
This time, Measure E boosters are seeking a hike of .25% over 25 years that would raise an estimated $1.4 billion for academic and athletic facilities at Fresno State.
County voting data from last year’s campaign shines a light on the neighborhoods and communities where Measure E backers have the most work to do.
Within Fresno city boundaries, results for the tax were divided, according to a map of voter precincts from the Fresno County Clerk/Registrar of Voters. The Clerk’s office reports 262,340 of the 500,076 registered voters live in Fresno proper.
Strong Support in South Fresno
Voters in south Fresno from west to east found Measure E very popular, as did central Fresno. Some precincts west of Highway 99 near Church and Fruit avenues returned results as high as 70% in favor of the measure.
And, areas south of Highway 180 and east of Highway 41 consistently voted two-thirds in favor of the measure.
Measure E Support Stopped at Clovis City Limits
Farther north, the results changed dramatically.
Emerson Avenue appeared to be a dividing line in northwest Fresno, as did Highway 41. Support for Measure E nearly completely stopped at the Clovis city limits.
Registered Democrats made up 43.3% of voters in Fresno proper in October 2022, with registered Republicans comprising 26.8%. No party preference followed closely behind with 22% of voters.
The map shows rural Fresno County, by and large, voted down Measure E. Mountain communities opposed the tax in ratios of 68.49%, 71.13%, and 77.82%. Western and southern Fresno County was a bit more divided with just 23 voting precincts outside the city of Fresno favoring Measure E.
Registered Republicans outnumbered registered Democrats in unincorporated Fresno County with 37,467 voters in October 2022 compared to 28,451. There are 88,779 registered voters in the county’s unincorporated areas.
The non-presidential election November ballot in 2022 brought out 44.29% of county voters compared to 74.65% in 2020. The previous non-presidential November ballot in 2018 saw a turnout of 56.4%.
This time, Measure E boosters say they hope to put it before voters on the March ballot.