Measure S touts broad base during final days
Every weekend, the population of Nevada City swells 30 percent with visitors who wear and tear the streets and should help pay for their upkeep, the Measure S campaign said Wednesday.
With less than a week until Election Day, the main argument for passing Nevada City’s half-cent sales tax – Measure S – is that it would pull in revenue from people who otherwise wouldn’t pay, Citizens Committee to Fix Our Streets co-chair Don Baumgart said.
“When you consider the customer traffic in downtown Nevada City, it is obvious that the commercial establishments serve a much larger clientele than just Nevada City residents,” said Dan Landon, Nevada County Transportation Commission Director, who provided the traffic statistics.
An argument in favor of Measure S appears in the Nov. 7 voter information packet and “Yes on S” signs line Nevada City streets. No argument has been made in the voter packet against the proposed measure, which would raise the sales tax in Nevada City from 7.375 percent to 7.875 percent.
However, the Elections Office initially did send Nevada City voters the wrong expenditure plan for the measure in their voter information packets. Residents who already voted but whose decisions changed with the correct information have been allowed to recast their ballots.
If it takes effect, Measure S would raise an estimated $7.2 million throughout 16 years for road repairs and some sidewalk improvements. Although only residents in city limits will decide the tax measure’s fate, applying the tax to everyone who shops there is the point supporters are driving home during the last days of campaigning.
“We were trying to think of some new angle to stress to voters,” Baumgart said. “(Measure S) is going to be spread across a lot wider base than just the residents.”
Measure S requires two-thirds voter approval to pass, more than the usual majority because it is designated for specific purposes. Supporters hope its Election Day chances have not been hurt by the recently completed work on Boulder Street, which could cause residents to think the sales tax is unnecessary, or by the Elections Office’s mistake.
To reach Staff Writer Josh Singer, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4234.
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