Voters’ view of sales tax plan sought

Voters’view of sales tax plan sought

6 March 2008

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USA — Homestead Valley resident Philip Moyer is urging county supervisors tomove ahead with a sales tax vote because his neighborhood needs the money toprevent a wildland fire.

Supervisors are going to find out what 1,000 other Marin voters think.

On Tuesday, they approved spending $34,500 to hire a pollster to test votersupport for a November tax measure that would raise money for improving countyparks, buying open space and protecting homes from wildland fire.

The poll will update a 2007 poll that indicated strong support for aquarter-cent tax, but short of the two-thirds voter approval a measure wouldneed to pass.

Last week, the county conducted a poll regarding a bond measure for a $136million plan to expand and renovate its libraries.

If put on the ballot in November, it could also compete for taxpayers’ cashwith the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit commuter train, which also seeksapproval of a quarter-cent sales tax increase.

The Marin Healthcare District also has talked about putting a tax measure onNovember’s ballot.

Marin Supervisor Charles McGlashan said the poll will test voter support on aballot crowded with competition for taxpayer dollars.

Supervisor Judy Arnold said the poll also will help hone the ballot measure,determining voters’ preferences for the tax.

The county hopes a quarter-cent sales tax would raise $10 million per year.

Moyer, a member of the Homestead Valley Land Trust, said his neighborhoodneeds funds to keep its 90 acres of open space maintained to reduce the threatof a wildland fire.

“We really need more funds to keep the community safe,” he toldsupervisors.

“Whatever part of the sales tax that would come our way would beappreciated. We would put it to good use.”

Last year’s poll indicated 63 percent of voters surveyed support aquarter-cent sales tax increase for parks, open space and wildland fireprotection.

The deadline for putting a tax measure on November’s ballot is Aug. 8.

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