Measure T falls just short in Grass Valley
It’s back to the drawing board for Measure T, which earned a majority of voters’ approval but not the two-thirds it needed to see the sales tax measure pass.
Measure T would have levied a half-cent sales tax in Grass Valley, raising $72 million to fund four transportation-related projects over the next 20 years.
But Mayor Gerard Tassone said the City Council will look into holding a special election to put it before voters again.
“We’ll just figure out what to do next,” said Tassone, who decided not to run for re-election so he could devote himself to supporting the measure.
“People don’t like to raise taxes,” said Chauncey Poston, a Grass Valley City Council candidate who was celebrating his apparent victory at the Main Street Cafe.
Getting a two-thirds vote was a big order for voters who may not have agreed with all the projects proposed by the measure, Poston said.
Negative publicity didn’t help, Tassone said. “When people are confused, they vote no,” he said.
A voter packet error last month jumbling Nevada City’s Measure S and Grass Valley’s Measure T also may have contributed to voter confusion.
“That was actually a big blow to Grass Valley,” said Tassone, who added some absentee ballots were submitted before the mix-up was corrected.
Proponents had touted the measure as a way to share the burden of improving infrastructure with both residents and visitors to the area’s shopping hub contributing 5 cents for every $10 spent.
The largest project was an interchange on the Golden Center Freeway at Dorsey Drive, which city officials have sought for two decades.
Proponents said the interchange would free up traffic congestion at major intersections and provide a more direct route from the freeway to the hospital.
Opponents countered the measure would have helped developers and offered minimal relief to congestion.
To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail laurab@theunion .com or call 477-4230.
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