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Placerville Voters to Weigh In on Half-Percent Sales Tax Hike

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Placerville City Council unanimously decided last week to put a half a percent sales tax increase on the November ballot.

The resolution does have specific stipulations.

“Seventy-five percent of the proceeds would be used for streets and the other 25% could be used for things like facilities,” Dave Warren, City of Placerville Director of Finance said.

Facilities like the old City Hall building and the police station are set to get improvements. However, the main focus is to fix the run down roads across the city.

“It’s obvious we need improvements,” Vice Mayor Patty Borelli said. “Coming into Placerville, with grass growing through the cracks, is not putting our best foot forward.”

If voters pass this measure, it begins April 1, 2015. The sales tax will go from 8 percent to 8.5 percent for the next ten years. Some local business owners were not thrilled about it.

“I think a tax like that would hurt local business and drive people out of town and drive to the people to the internet,” Bill Lager, owner of Sierra Glass Works said. He and his wife have had their small business in Placerville for 35 years.

If the city were to repair everything that needs to be fixed now, it would cost at least $21 million. But city leaders say the only current source of money they get is the $200,000 they get from annual State transportation program.

“This half cent sales tax would generate about $2 million a year, so the goal was for a 10 year period, to generate about $20 million,” Warren said.

The city conducted a sample survey on the proposed half percent sales tax. Their results showed the measure will most likely pass. Although the half percent tax may help the city greatly, Lager said for him and other local business owners, it will only hurt.

“The roads are tough to live with, but losing business would be a lot worse,” Lager said. “Losing business is tough, and every little bit hurts.

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