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GV sales tax snagged

There could be a legal hang-up with the proposed Grass Valley sales tax initiative slated for the November ballot.

A memo obtained by The Union from City Attorney Ruthann Ziegler to Grass Valley officials said the tax initiative has to be passed by a two-thirds vote of the City Council first, and a subsequent two-thirds approval from voters before it can be legally valid.

The current sales tax initiative is being pushed by an independent group of former city council members, Patti Ingram, Dee Mautino and Steve Enos, to create funds for the Dorsey Drive Interchange and city streets.



The City Council has not voted on the matter.

According to Ziegler’s memo, the Senior Tax Auditor at the California State Board of Equalization said the city has to have the two approval votes before his agency will collect and administer the tax.




A general ordinance can be simply passed by the council or be turned over for voters approval, Ziegler’s memo said. But anything involving a sales tax must involve the two-step procedure.

The sales tax group is currently gathering signatures for the initiative to make the November ballot. The memo said Ingram had been informed of the matter and will have the group’s attorney contact Ziegler.

The group’s effort comes after the loss of Measure T, a 2006 sales tax on the ballot that some said lost a close race because too many projects were involved, including a downtown parking garage.

For more on the story, see Thursday’s edition of The Union.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call 477-4237.


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