Guest Column: Vote ‘no’ on Measure U
To learn more about Measure U (and Measure E, a similar bond measure that will be voted on by TTUSD residents living in Placer and El Dorado counties), visit Placer County Elections at placerelections.com/current-elections.aspx — once there, scroll down to “Measures on Ballot.”
As a 40-year resident, I have experienced a great deal of change in our wonderful community.
Both Truckee Elementary and Truckee High School were in use at the time of my moving up here full-time in 1974. Since that time, additions and renovations to these structures have taken place. Our generous community has passed bond measures graciously over the years for not only the schools, but also for various other community services.
We are currently paying for three school bonds, plus Measure A. Measure A has a senior exemption and everyone else pays $135/yr. On my property tax, the three infrastructure bonds are costing me $217 per year.
They say that the typical homeowner will pay an additional $162/yr. for Measure U. So, that comes to well over $500/yr. for each home owner. And that does not include a Sierra College Bond, a Tahoe Forest Bond and a fire district bond.
An additional detail is that the amount per $100,000 assessed valuation is not necessarily fixed. We have seen agencies increase these amounts, much to our dismay. Not only do these taxes effect those of us who are fortunate enough to be property owners, but also those who are renting.
Naturally, landlords will pass on increased overhead in the form of increased rent. We already know of the high cost of living in our community to the point that many middle class workers have moved to Reno, where rent is affordable. A significant percentage of we residents are “seniors” on reduced/fixed incomes.
Many more are basic workforce people who can only barely afford to live here even if it means commuting from Reno, and perhaps the highest portion of residents are the “middle class” — teachers, nurses, cops, etc., who also struggle to make ends meet, and many also have to commute.
Our recreation department worked very hard to get a bond passed to build a new aquatics center. They tried various configurations to get enough voter approval. They were not able to obtain the percentage of votes needed. And, yes, a new swimming pool for our community would be great. The old one at the high school is definitely way past its prime. Perhaps this failed attempt was the first of the voters and property owners, saying, “enough is enough.”
The Recreation Department has gone back to the “drawing board” to design an aquatics center that is affordable, given the resources available to them. I suggest that our school district do the same. I recommend a “no” vote on Measure U. Perhaps that will force the school district administration to go to work and come up with creative solutions.
Rolf Godon is a Truckee resident.