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San Jose Measure H: Card Room Tax

card table


This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

San Jose’s Measure H aims to generate about $15 million annually by increasing taxes at the city’s two card rooms. Specifically, Measure H would raise taxes on their gross revenue from 15 to 16.5 percent. 

But here’s the thing: California law prohibits the card rooms themselves from acting as the bank for the gambling they host. Those banking services are provided by a group of organizations that is a mouthful to say: third-party providers of proposition player services, or TPPPSs. (Was that enough Ps? Really, try saying it three times fast.) These funding sources would be taxed by a separateformula: smaller ones would be taxed at five percent, medium ones at 7.5 percent, and the largest would be taxed at 10 percent.

The measure would also allow each card room to add fifteen more tables. That would bring them up to 64 card tables each.

The text of the measure says the it would pay for lots of things, including street repair, youth services and addressing homelessness. But since Measure H is a general tax, the revenue would be available to use for any city service. 

Measure H was placed on the ballot by a 10-1 vote of the City Council in August, with Mayor Sam Liccardo as the only No vote. He said that, while he supports increasing taxes on the card rooms, he’s wary of more gambling in the city.


So, San Jose voters: a Yes vote on Measure H would increase taxes at your city’s card rooms and would allow them each 15 more tables. A No vote on Measure H would leave taxes on the card rooms, and the numbers of tables in them, as they are.

Joshua Sirotiak is an environment reporter for KALW in San Francisco. He's a working musician, father and self-proclaimed nerd who has previously produced audio journalism for NBC News and Chicago Public Media.