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Tuolumne County Planning TOT And Parcel Tax Ballot Measures

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Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors is moving towards putting two separate ballot measures before voters in November.

The first is an annual tax of $150 on residential, commercial and business parcels, and a $75 tax on mobile-home and unimproved parcels. It would bring around $3.4-million to the county, and the money would be placed into a set-aside fire fund. It could help cover fire staffing, new equipment, infrastructure and other related needs. Williamson Act properties would be excluded from the tax.

In addition, the county is going to “give another go” on a 2-percent increase to the Transient Occupancy Tax. If approved, it would go up from the current 10-percent to 12-percent. It was noted that the increase would put it on par with neighboring counties like Mariposa and Calaveras, who in recent years have increased their tax to 12-percent. A similar measure in Tuolumne County failed by about 3-percentage points in March. Since that time, the county has had to make reductions in various programs, and more tough budget times are projected next year.  Supervisor Ryan Campbell argued that the revenue from TOT is primarily paid by those visiting the county so that local taxpayers are not subsidizing the services the visitors use.  Increasing it to 12-percent, and expanding it to also cover campgrounds, would generate an extra $1-million annually.

All five supervisors expressed support of putting some form of a parcel tax for fire on the ballot, but Supervisor Anaiah Kirk was opposed to trying the TOT increase again.

The vote to request that staff draft documents for both measures was approved, 4-1.