Measure V aims to extend sales tax for Truckee road work
Measure V, on the ballot for Truckee voters this Nov. 4, traces its roots back to one of the reasons Truckee incorporated as a town in 1993.
A continuation of a 1/2 cent sales tax passed by voters in 1998, Measure V money would go towards road maintenance on the town’s roads.
“One of the driving forces behind incorporation was poor road maintenance,” said Town Manager Tony Lashbrook. “A study for LAFCo projected $24 million in deferred road maintenance unfunded by the county.”
Seventy-two percent of voters passed Measure A in 1998, Lashbrook said, with a sunset clause set for 2010.
“We have essentially rebuilt every road in Truckee between 1994 and today,” Lashbrook said. “Measure A allowed us to do that.”
Measure V picks up where Measure A ends, but also expands use of the funding to go beyond the 37 miles of “backbone” roads to all town roads, Lashbrook said.
The measure will also have a 20 year sunset clause, he said, along with an oversight committee to keep the funding going to the right places.
“Town council decided it was important to pursue the November election because there is going to be the most voters at the poles possibly ever, certainly for a long time,” Lashbrook said.
The measure would generate about $2 million a year out of a projected $3 million a year needed for road maintenance, he said.
The town makes up the difference from other sources like the general fund and Truckee Special Service Area funding, Lashbrook said.
“It’s not a new tax; it just extends one to keep our roads in good condition,” said Paul Kucharski, a member of Residents for Measure V. “It’s important for driver safety, as well as bicyclists and pedestrians.”
Kucharski said as a sales tax, Measure V would be paid for primarily by tourists and visitors to the area.
But Bryan DeVoe, a Truckee resident, said voting for Measure V isn’t the right move in this economy.
“I’m against Measure V ” we need to drop sales tax,” DeVoe said. “They say we should shop locally yet we have some of the highest sales taxes.”
While he acknowledged the roads were bad locally before incorporation, he said the roads are better now, and the unincorporated communities of North Lake Tahoe don’t need a local tax to keep the roads going.
“I believe Measure V needs to go away like a lot of other assessments until the economy is restored,” DeVoe said.
Measure V requires a two-thirds majority to pass Nov. 4.
For more information, go to http://www.townoftruckee.com.
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