ATWATER -- The fate of a tax hike aimed at supporting the city's police and fire departments was too close to call Tuesday night, although voters showed overwhelming support for the measure.
The half-cent sales tax increase, known as Measure H, garnered 67.2 percent of the vote. Since the tax would be specifically earmarked for public safety, it needs two-thirds of the vote to pass. The vote tally late Tuesday was 1,716 "yes" votes and 837 "no" votes, according to Merced County Registrar of Voters Barbara Levey.
Provisional ballots and vote-by-mail ballots turned in at the polls still need to be counted and could be enough to change the outcome of the election, Levey said.