Supervisors approve March 7 safety tax election | Sierra Star

The Madera County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a special March 7 election for a proposed 1% sales tax increase, which if supported by voters will increase funding for county firefighters and law enforcement.

Tuesday’s approval was expected, as the county has spent several months relaying information to voters about the potential benefits of the tax increase.

If approved, it would increase the sales tax in Madera County from 8% to 9% – an extra cent every dollar – and generate around $8 million a year during its 20-year lifespan from October next year to September of 2037. For comparison, Mariposa County’s sales tax is 8%, Merced’s is 7.5%, the statewide standard, and Fresno County is 8.225%.

The tax would be increased on all unincorporated areas in the county; essentially all areas not inside the city limits of Madera and Chowchilla, which are incorporated.

Special provisions in the measure would ensure the extra dollars are allocated solely to the county’s fire department and sheriff’s office, on an 80-20 percentage split.

Firefighters and consultants say the county’s fire department is underfunded by some $10 million a year, and the tax will help bring its outdated equipment, as well as its lack of code-mandated staffing levels, up to standard.

For the full sales tax expenditure plan, click here.

Details: (559) 662-6050, FAQ on the proposed public safety sales tax.

For more information about the proposed sales tax increase, see the following articles:

☆ Firefighters, county pitch public safety tax before March vote

☆ Public vote on tax increase March 7

http://www.sierrastar.com/news/local/article114922918.html

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