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Tax on the table: Supervisors to discuss, vote whether to put half-cent measure on November ballot

Submitted to The Union

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider placing a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot, a news release states.

The initiative, called the “Wildfire Prevention, Emergency Services and Disaster Readiness” measure, would appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot, if supervisors approve it by a four-fifths vote. The purpose of the measure would be to save lives, reduce the threat of wildfires, and improve all-hazards disaster readiness and evacuation safety.

The proposed measure would establish a half-cent countywide sales tax that would apply to both residents and visitors. The tax is expected to generate approximately $12 million annually to fund emergency services. Once placed on the ballot, the measure would go to Nevada County voters for approval.



Supervisors will discuss the issue at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in chambers at the Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City.

Officials in the news release state the measure is being proposed in response to ongoing community concerns about safety in the face of more frequent and more destructive wildfires, power shut-offs, last year’s devastating winter storm, and other emergency events.



Residents have requested the county take action to implement their priorities, such as helping prevent wildfires by removing flammable brush countywide; improving evacuation routes to get residents out safely and quickly, and first responders in during an emergency; enhancing emergency communications, early warning, and 911 response to quickly notify residents during a natural disaster; improving enforcement of fire safety laws and illegal campfires that increase the threat of wildfires countywide; helping low-income seniors and people with disabilities maintain defensible space around their homes; and providing free year-round green waste disposal and drop-off sites.

County staff has been working with stakeholders, including city and town managers and fire officials, to identify and prioritize critical safety needs and outline plans for how tax revenue would be spent, according to the release.

OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

If the measure is passed by voters, the county would create a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to recommend funding priorities as part of its annual budget cycle. The TAC membership would have representation from both eastern and western county, including city and town managers, fire and law enforcement representatives, senior county staff, and nonprofit and community leaders.

Additionally, supervisors would appoint a Citizens Oversight Committee consisting of seven volunteer community members, with one member from each supervisorial district and two at-large members. The Citizens Oversight Committee’s roles and responsibilities would include reporting on the receipt of sales tax, on the allocations of funds per the expenditure plan, and the findings of annual audits, the release states.

Learn more about the proposed “Wildfire Prevention, Emergency Services and Disaster Readiness” measure at http://www.ReadyNevadaCounty.org/Future.

Source: Nevada County

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Email letters no later than today to BOS.PublicComment@NevadaCountyCA.gov

Give public comment in person in board chambers, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City

Give comment by phone at 530-270-3474

A public comment kiosk will be available at the Truckee Town Hall in the Prosser conference room

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