County sales tax survey to begin | SierraSun.com

County sales tax survey to begin

Trina Kleist
Sun News Service

NEVADA CITY ” Pollsters could start calling Nevada County residents this week to ask them about their attitudes on countywide issues, county Transportation Commission director Dan Landon said Thursday.

Traffic planners hope to learn what transportation issues concern people most, where the issues fit in residents’ priorities, and whether people would support a half-cent sales tax to support specific projects, Landon said.

Pollsters will split up their results to reflect attitudes in Truckee, Grass Valley, Nevada City and different unincorporated areas.

Local leaders are considering a sales tax as the only option to raise money quickly for specific transportation projects, such as the proposed interchange at Dorsey Drive and the Golden Center Freeway in Grass Valley.

Rapidly rising construction costs and development impact fees that in the past have lagged behind inflation have made it difficult to fund needed projects. In addition, the impact fees for projects are collected over 20-year spans, so the full amount of money for a particular project comes in the 20th year.

“Having met with various community groups, it will be very interesting to see how many people support a tax,” Landon said.

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He noted that budget problems at the state level, where taxes designated for road maintenance were diverted to balance the books, could color voters’ attitudes toward a tax measure on the county level.

In the past, however, local voters have supported very specific local tax measures, including one that raised money for libraries.