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Tuolumne County Leaders Moving Sales Tax Measure Forward

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Sonora, CA — Citing that the approach needs to change this time around, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors is moving forward with another proposed sales tax measure for the upcoming November election.

The move comes in response to rising costs of government operations and grant funding that will expire in coming years that currently keeps things like many local fire stations operational. A similar tax proposal failed two years ago (though a tax measure passed in the neighboring City of Sonora jurisdiction).

During the discussion period at today’s board meeting, outgoing sheriff Bill Pooley voiced support but warned that in order for a sales tax measure to gain approval there needs to be a 5-0 buy-in amongst the board members, and a strong community backing. Otherwise, it would be “silly” to try to pass it. He challenged the board in that regard.

The supervisors also heard from Tuolumne County Public Works Director Kim MacFarlane about a lack of road funding currently, and from Assistant Fire Chief Andy Murphy about the benefits of the recent high staffing levels (funded by expiring grant money) and the more effective fire rescues and responses.

The board voted 5-0 to direct staff to move forward with a plan for a November ballot measure (one-percent sales tax increase). The board would also like to see storyboards developed so that the community understands the financial need of the county, and include aspects like a 20-year sunset clause, and an annual audit. Additional steps and actions will need to be taken ahead of the November election.

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