San Bernardino County fire tax could stay even if repeal passes – San Bernardino Sun

The fate of Measure Z, and the San Bernardino County fire tax it aims to repeal, may be determined by the courts, not the voters who weighed in on the matter this week.

As of 3:15 a.m. Wednesday, June 8, unofficial election night results showed voters approving repeal 59.28% to 40.72% with 39,242 votes counted. But as of that posting, the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters still had 110,000 mail-in ballots to process. Updated election results were expected at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

To pass, the measure needs a simple majority. But the issue has been tied up in the courts for months.

The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District filed a lawsuit in February against the registrar and measure backers to keep it off the ballot.

In March, San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge David Cohn ordered the registrar to remove the measure from the ballot on the grounds that it violated state election code that makes it illegal to intentionally misrepresent information while gathering signatures to place an item on the ballot.

Residents had collected 8,868 signatures to put the initiative before voters.

Measure backers appealed the order, but by May the Fourth District Court of Appeals rejected that effort.

On May 31, Cohn issued his judgment and said the initiative “is invalid and shall not be enforced or given legal effect.”

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