Measure U Fight Heats Up in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO -- If you live in Sacramento and shop in Sacramento there is about to be a lot of people telling you how to think about Measure U.

Measure U maintains a 1/2 cent sales tax in the city that otherwise would expire in March and adds another 1/2 cent increase.

"We have the ability to grow in an inclusive way and to really diversify our jobs base, to address the housing crisis and homelessness, and to invest more in young people," Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said.

But opponents say the money will inevitably go toward paying off the city's mounting pension obligations.

"Mayor Steinberg is running around town, promising to spend this money on a half dozen different things, when in fact, none of it will go for any of those things," Craig Powell, of the watchdog group Eye on Sacramento, told FOX40. "All city employees should, in all fairness, be paying at least 50 percent of the cost of their pensions. Right now, they're paying about 21 percent. Just by moving that up to 50 percent, paying half, for what in many cases are very lucrative pensions, it’ll save $30 million a year. That’s 60 percent of what Measure U would bring in."

Voters will get to decide on Measure U in November.