Better roads from higher sales tax? |

Better roads from higher sales tax?

A sales tax increase may be the solution for the money troubles of western Nevada County’s roadways, according to a recent report.

Local Agency Formation Commission members Nate Beason and Sue Horne, who are also Nevada County supervisors, immediately scorned the suggestion Thursday, but they tempered their remarks after hearing from Truckee Town Councilman Josh Susman, who reported on the success of Truckee’s road levy.

The report, one of a series of reviews conducted by commission, chronicled the condition of Nevada County’s roadways and their governance.

As more transportation money has been diverted to the state for budget relief, the report concluded, the shift had created a “critical deficiency for districts in Nevada County that provide maintenance for public roads.”

Compounding the deficiency, the report added, is the “anticipated pattern of dispersed development in the county (that) is relatively expensive to serve.”

The report did not dwell on its recommendation of a quarter-percent sales tax increase, which irritated Beason and Horne. The two supervisors asked for a consideration of alternatives and a more thorough analysis.

In Truckee, Susman said, such a tax increase helped the town go from a maintenance deficit to a surplus.

The Local Agency Formation Commission, a seven-member council charged with promoting government efficiency and limiting sprawl, does not have the power to tax. The decision could end up being left up to voters in the form of a ballot measure.

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