Sales tax misses fall ballot |

Sales tax misses fall ballot

A sales tax proposed for Grass Valley road repairs and the long-sought Dorsey Drive Interchange will not make the November ballot.

Sales tax initiative group leader and former mayor Patti Ingram said Friday the plan missed a late July deadline.

The group would continue to gather signatures to put the half-cent tax on a future ballot, she added.

“We just didn’t want to be part of the numerous issues that are going to be before the voters, and we want the tax measure to be considered on its own merits,” Ingram said.

The city’s two growth measures already certified for the election were cited by Ingram for the decision, along with the national election. An unresolved possible legal snag with the tax initiative involving the steps toward ballot ratification also came into play, Ingram said.

There was also some apparent discord within the tax group leaders, which includes former City Council members Dee Mautino and Steve Enos. Mautino said she wanted to push for the tax to make the November ballot. She fears California leaders will grab earmarked road funds to help balance the budget and leave no matching funds for city projects, she said.

“That’s my feelings and not the rest of the group’s,” Mautino said. Enos could not be reached for comment.

Ingram has now shifted her energy to Grass Valley United, a group formed to defeat the Managed Growth Initiative.

That plan would result in most amendments to the land use element of the city’s general plan going to a public vote.

The City Council also has opposed the Managed Growth Initiative, and Mayor Mark Johnson has written a ballot argument in support of the alternative Urban Growth Boundary initiative.

That plan would cap residential building permits and require fiscal impact reports from new developments.

The proposed sales tax was a reaction to the close loss of Measure T, a sales tax on the 2006 ballot that earned a majority of votes but failed to get a two-thirds majority needed to pass.

That measure included funding for a downtown parking garage and the construction of Wolf Creek Parkway – too many projects, opponents said.

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

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