Election 2014: Support swelling for Truckee’s Measure R
May 8, 2014
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Several local individuals, businesses and organizations have come out in support of a Truckee trails sales tax measure that's up for election next month.
One group is the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, which recently polled members on Measure R, with 56 of 64 respondents in favor (87.5 percent) and 8 opposed.
"Measure R creates an expanded network of trails in Truckee, providing our residents and visitors with access to the open space that makes our town such a special place to live, visit and do business," Christy Curtis, board chair of the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.
On the Nevada County Elections Office's website, an argument for Measure R is posted and signed by town of Truckee Mayor Patrick Flora; Truckee's first mayor Kathleen Eagan; and Paco Lindsay, owner of Paco's Truckee Bike & Ski and a director with the Truckee Trails Foundation; among others.
According to the county, written agreements for or against measures submitted to voters had to be filed with the Nevada County clerk by March 14. Nothing against Measure R was submitted by that deadline, said Sandra Sjoberg, assistant clerk-recorder for the county.
The grassroots group Committee for Trails (Yes on R) — of which Lindsay is chair — has been promoting Measure R the past several weeks; the group's election signs have been placed throughout town.
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The group's website as of midday Thursday listed more than 100 residents who have endorsed the trails tax.
Further, 21 agencies or organizations — including Truckee Town Council, Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe, Glenshire-Devonshire Residents Association, Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District and Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors — were listed as being in favor, along with nearly 60 local businesses.
As of Wednesday, the county's elections office has received a Fair Political Practices Commission filing from the committee disclosing a $10,000 contribution from the Truckee Trails Foundation, Sjoberg said.
Of 564 registered Truckee voters surveyed last fall, 67 percent said they would vote in favor of a sales tax measure, while 29 percent were against and 4 percent were undecided.
Concerns included taxes already being too high, the town should seek other funding sources to improve trails and a perception Truckee has enough trails.
Currently, the town has a sales tax of 8.125 percent, which is higher than Nevada County (7.625 percent) and Placer County (7.5 percent), and lower than the state average (8.38 percent).
If Measure R — a proposed quarter-cent, 10-year sales tax increase to fund construction and maintenance of separate paved and earthen trails in Truckee — is approved in the June 3 primary election, Truckee's sales tax would grow to 8.375 percent.
Sales-taxable items in California include furniture, giftware, toys, antiques, clothing and some labor services, among others. Excluded items are many groceries, prescription medicine and certain medical devices, and items paid for with food stamps.
It's estimated the measure would generate $10 million, all of which would stay in Truckee with independent oversight. The town estimates $8 million would go toward trail construction — including completion of the Truckee River Legacy Trail — and the remainder to maintenance.
To pass, it requires two-thirds majority in the election. Election polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 3.