More in Community Voices:
- Guest Column: Return to ‘Purple Tier’ is unsustainable and subjective November 19, 2020
- Guest Opinion: Measure M tax hike isn’t needed for Citrus Heights to get by November 1, 2020
- Guest Opinion: When tax dollars were flowing, how did the city spend it? November 1, 2020
By Micah Hancock–
Dear fellow residents of Citrus Heights, I am very frustrated with our City Council for trying to sell us and foist upon us this permanent one percent sales tax increase – known as Measure M. It will make our sales tax 8.75%! Everyone should vote a resounding “NO” on Measure M.
First of all, the advertisements for Measure M “promise” all of these things they are going to do – such as keeping streets safe, helping the disadvantaged, law enforcement, and many other things. However, there is nothing in Measure M that guarantees they will do what they promise.
In fact, the Measure says all of the funding goes into the General Fund and can be spent for any legal purpose, such as wages, new buildings, or whatever they see fit! Plus, even if you do trust the current City Council, these council seats will change in the next few years and this tax lasts forever!
They cannot promise how this money will be spent three years from now, let alone 10, 40, or even 80 years from now. Consequently, our children and grandchildren will be paying this tax for generations.
Second, the recent “city paid for” mailers that were sent out were paid by using public funds to “SELL” Measure M to us, the voters.
In The Sentinel article last week, I saw the Oct. 1st Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation letter to the city, which chastises the city for use of public resources for political advocacy. The letter points out that the city is using “biased, argumentative, and outright misleading statements in the City’s Measure M communications …… Measure M proposes a general tax that … may be use for any and all municipal purposes.”
Third, proposing such as tax during a pandemic and economic crisis is heartless and inconsiderate.
Is this money grab for us or for them? This year has been especially difficult for most people financially. Increasing the sales tax from 7.75% to 8.75% will create a significant increase in price for all goods purchased in Citrus Heights.
I don’t believe the arguments that it will only cost $7 dollars a month for everyone. We buy all sorts of things – gasoline, clothing, food (and not all food is tax exempt), home repair items, school supplies, and a huge variety of materials.
Even if the increased sales tax was only $84 a year, over 12 percent of Citrus Heights live below the poverty level and that was BEFORE the pandemic and massive unemployment or reduced work hours.
The average earnings per adult in Citrus Heights is only $37,000 per year. And, with the rising cost of living, rents, and mortgages, every dollar counts!
To assume that the people of Citrus Heights should not worry about this increased cost of living is absurd. And, even if this tax was affordable, an endless tax with no guarantees is a BAD TAX whatever the cost!
Fourth, Measure M is bad for our economy and our local businesses. As a young professional working as a teacher, I am always conscious of where my money is going, and how it is being spent.
With the proposed tax increase, many consumers, including myself, would look to the neighboring Placer County to purchase goods. Measure M’s tax increase would drive business away from already struggling small businesses in Citrus Heights.
With the upcoming revitalization of the Sunrise Mall, many residents including myself are looking forward to supporting the new businesses. However, if Measure M passes, the retail and restaurants will become more expensive than the Roseville Galleria and Folsom Palladio; instead, this is where we will head.
There is not enough accountability in the city budget or Measure M to allow for such a large tax increase on the citizens. If you read the Measure, you will see that citizen oversight committee is meaningless and serves at the pleasure of the City Council.
Please, please read Measure M very carefully. I’ve looked at both the Yes and No websites.
Being mindful of the difficult year it’s been, I believe I speak for most Citrus Heights residents when I say that I have had to adjust my budget and cut down spending accordingly.
Wouldn’t you agree that our city should do the same, rather than just put their hands into our pockets? Please vote No on M with me.
Micah Hancock is a homeowner and four-year resident of Citrus Heights. He received his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from William Jessup University.
Want to share your own thoughts on this topic or another local issue?Submit a letter to the editor or opinion column for publication:Click here
Thanks for reading The Sentinel. You are either trying to access subscribers-only content or you have reached your limit of 5 free articles per 30 days. Click here to sign in or subscribe.