With mail-in ballots and all 425 of the precincts reported, a property tax for the Peralta Community College District passed with 72 percent of voters in favor of the levy.
District leaders say Measure B, which required two-thirds approval, will help restore classes lost to state budget cuts by proposing a $48-per-year tax on property in Alameda County.
The tax will last eight years and bring about $8 million annually to the four-college Peralta district serving Oakland, Alameda, Piedmont, Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville.
In a prepared statement released Wednesday, Chancellor Wise E. Allen thanked voters for passing the tax by such a wide margin. "This means -- in spite of state cuts to education -- that we will be able, on a limited basis, to continue to provide community students with the courses they need," he said. "Times are difficult and it is reassuring to see that our community continues to support the educational mission of our community colleges."
Board President Cy Gulassa said the money would pay for 500 new classes that would accommodate about 1,500 full-time students. The colleges have cut back enrollment dramatically since state budget cuts started two years ago, losing nearly $30 million since 2010.
"What can I say, other than that I am absolutely thrilled," Gulassa said. "It suddenly gives us a tremendous boost in morale and confidence that the community is recognizing and honoring the work that we've done