Guest column by County Supervisor Sue Frost–
As has become typical in California, this past November we had a large amount of propositions to vote on.
Now that the election is squarely behind us and we know the outcome of each proposition, I thought it would be timely for me to explain the immediate impacts that some of these will have directly on Sacramento County and Citrus Heights.
Proposition 1 (passed). This proposition does a variety of things, but it has two main components that will impact us. First, it provides $1 billion in the form of loans to veterans to make it easier for them to get into home ownership. With over 87,000 veterans living in Sacramento County, this will undoubtedly help many of our residents.
The other main component is $1.5 billion in the form of loans for the construction and rehabilitation of rental housing for people with income below 60 percent of the area median income. A report from October showed that when compared to the 50 largest markets in the United States, the Sacramento Metropolitan Area has the #1 worst housing crisis. Local builders will be applying for a significant amount of that money since the demand is so high.
This money is not free however, and California will need to pay it back with interest.
Proposition 2 (passed). Simply put, this proposition takes some State money that is dedicated to mental health treatment, and diverts it to housing for the homeless. While the County most certainly needs more money to help with mental health treatment, we also have an enormous need for housing that gets much larger every year.
The passing of this proposition will get Sacramento County an estimated $4.2 million yearly, as well as make us eligible to compete with nine other counties for funding from a pool of anywhere between $486 million to $682 million.
Proposition 4 (passed). This proposition authorized $1.5 billion in bonds for the construction and expansion of children’s hospitals. Locally, that means UC Davis Children’s Hospital will receive $54 million as a one-time payment. As with Proposition 1, California will need to be pay this money back with interest.
Proposition 6 (failed). This proposition would have repealed the “gas tax” increase that was approved by the legislature last year, and since the tax was already implemented, nothing will change now that the proposition did not pass. But now that we know the gas tax is here to stay, here is what to expect:
On average, Sacramento County will receive around $25 million yearly to help with maintenance of the roads, and Citrus Heights expects an additional $1.44 million annually. But while this may seem like a lot of money, the reality is that Sacramento County needs around $50 million yearly to just keep up with the deterioration of the roads, and we would need even more than that to start trimming down our $700 million backlog of needed road repairs.
More investments will need to be made if we want our roads to be at an acceptable level, either in the form of switching our spending priorities, or more taxes. If you have followed my past articles, you will know that I support switching priorities without raising taxes.
Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost formerly served as a Citrus Heights councilwoman and currently represents District 4, which includes Citrus Heights. She can be contacted at (916) 874-5491, or SupervisorFrost@saccounty.net.
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