Measure V to hit the ballot: Measure would impose half-cent tax on purchases

Jennifer Nobles / The Union
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A simple majority in favor of the half-cent sales tax will put it on the books.

The new tax would be on all applicable sales throughout the incorporated areas of Truckee, Grass Valley, and Nevada City, as well as in unincorporated areas, according to a statement by Auditor-Controller Marcia Salter

The same impact statement reports that the tax — called Measure V — would be in place for the following 10 years and generate approximately $12 million a year, which would be placed in the county’s General Fund.

The funds derived from the tax would implement funding in the areas of wildfire prevention, emergency services, disaster readiness, and other general governmental use.

The draft expenditure report states that 10% of the collected tax would go to planning, prevention, and preparedness. Another 65% would be allotted to mitigation, 20% to response, and 5% to recovery.

Salter’s statement reads: “With this sales tax measure, the county will have an ongoing revenue stream to expand emergency preparedness, reduce wildfire risk, and to implement other related programs and services to meet the needs and expectations of its citizens.”

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 9 placed Measure V on the ballot.

If approved, the tax will go into effect immediately and will effectively be practiced beginning April 1.

If voters decide to vote “yes,” the sales tax will be levied for 10 years, in addition to current sales taxes. If the majority says “no,” the one-half percent will not be levied.

An official argument in favor of Measure V was submitted, authored by former Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer, and was signed by several community leaders, including retired Truckee Fire Chief Bill Seline and Supervisor Ed Scofield.

The argument reads, in part, “Current funding is inadequate to tasks at hand…These locals funds will be placed in a separate account that can’t be seized by the state. Tourists pay their fair share, so it isn’t only on residents.

“Our community is at risk. A ‘yes’ vote on Measure V will reduce the threat of wildfire.”

Those who oppose Measure V include Supervisor Dan Miller, Ray Byers of Byers Enterprises, and Robert Ingram of the Nevada County Planning Commission.

The group’s argument reads: “Measure V will increase taxes, and Nevada County will not be better prepared to prevent or fight fires…This measure will dramatically increase the cost of everything sold in Nevada County. Measure V is the wrong tax, in the wrong way, at the wrong time.”

Election Day is Nov. 8.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at

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