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What the Heck is Measure V

And how does it affect me?
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     A 'yes' vote on Measure V extends an existing half-cent sales tax in Truckee that was originally approved in 1998 as Measure A. Since its approval, the tax has generated nearly $6.5 million in revenue (32 percent of the Town’s overall road budget), which has been used for pavement sealing, road reconstruction and widening, guardrail installation and drainage projects. It was the result of attempts to deal with a $24 million deferred road maintenance challenge the Town inherited from Nevada County. The Measure A, which was passed by 72 percent of voters, won’t expire until 2010, but the Truckee Town Council voted to put Measure V on the ballot November 4 since high voter turnout is expected, providing the best opportunity for citizen input on the road measure.

     Measure V is not a property tax. It’s a sales tax on the purchase of tangible personal property in Truckee. California has a statewide sales tax rate of 7.25 percent, and local supplementary taxes, like Measure V, can be added with voter approval up to 8.75 percent. Our current tax rate is 7.875 percent, with Measure A at .50 percent and a Library tax of .125 percent. Measure V does not increase the sales tax rate, it extends the existing rate after Measure A expires in two years.

     The sales tax law contains lots of oddities and exemptions. For instance, we pay sales tax on gasoline, but not on fertilizer or seeds. We pay it on ready-to-eat hot foods that we purchase from the local market, but not on groceries. We pay it in restaurants, but not on the cup of joe we grab from our favorite local java shop.

     With Measure V, everyone who comes through town pays for the roads they drive on; it generates big bucks at a small cost.

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March 14, 2019