A Tehama County measure will be on the March 3 primary election ballot for voters to decide on a one-cent general sales tax increase for both the incorporated and unincorporated portions of the county. During the Tehama County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday the board voted unanimously to place the measure on the ballot (Supervisor Candy Carlson was not present to take part in the vote).

If the proposed sales tax increase is passed by voters it will add $7.9 million onto the county’s coffers, reported Tehama County Chief Administrator Bill Goodwin.

He said the county is currently running a deficit budget gap of $2-4 million annually. The 2019-20 county budget was the first that the county has elected to dip into its reserve account to balance the budget.

“This is in fact the board’s recognition that we need additional revenue source to be able to do something for our employees and I would respectfully ask that they support this measure,” he said.

During public comment, Scott Keener spoke on behalf of the Tehama County Democratic Central Committee stating the committee stands in opposition to the ballot measure as it is the committee’s belief the increase will add too much of a burden to the elderly and poor in the county.

Board Chairman Dennis Garton said he was voting to put the measure on the ballot so the people of the county can tell the board what voters want.

“If it passes fine. If it doesn’t pass that is fine too, but we better be prepared for layoffs within the county,” he added.

If passed by voters, the sales tax increase would become effective July 1, 2020.

Within recent years both Corning and Red Bluff voters have approved sales tax increases for within their communities.

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