Tuolumne County Supervisor Mark Thornton says that a proposal to raise taxes in the county to help defray rising fire fighting costs is “probably dead.”
Fire fighting costs for this year are estimated to be about $1.4 million, and could rise to as high as $2 million next year. The board of Supervisors explored the possibility of raising the county sales tax from 7.25% to 7.75% for all areas except Sonora, which has its own fire department.
Thornton told a group of fire fighting officials that the plan is apparently illegal because it excludes Sonora. Sonora residents voted to raise their sales tax to 7.75% last year to fund police and fire services.
A countywide tax increase would raise Sonora´s sales tax to 8.25 percent. Thornton says that if the sales tax proposal is dead, then the next logical alternative would be a possible parcel tax.