Extra Police Protection, Extra Taxes

December 22, 2008 2:05:55 PM PST
In an effort to fight increased gang activity and boost fire protection more Valley cities are seeking sales tax increases.Reedley California population 25-thousand still a small town but staring at some big city problems.

Sean Provost, "Citizens For Measure G": "Our violent crimes have gone up.... we had four homicides .... I believe it was two years ago.....we've already had our first homicide this year that was gang related."

Sean Provost has seen the increase in gang violence first hand.... He's one of two patrol officers covering the City of Reedley during the daylight hours.

He says Reedley could use double that amount on duty.

Measure G would raise enough money to hire those officers.

It would raise Reedley's sales tax a half a cent to 8.475 percent.

In Sanger a similar measure.... Measure S.... Would raise the sales tax rate three quarters of a cent to 8.725 percent..... That would give Sanger the highest sales tax in Fresno County.

But both Sanger and Reedley police and both fire agencies believe they have no other options.

Chief Tom Klose, Sanger Police: "It's a tough argument ... it really is a tough argument .... when you're talking to somebody that opposed to is trying to sway them the other way. " "everybody's budget is in trouble and now we're asking for more money."

Chief Klose says Sanger's calls for service have tripled from 20 to 60 thousand in the last couple of years..... The number of officers has remained the same.

Chief Klose: "if I can get five to ten more officers in the next couple of years, that will help. as the population grows, we're gonna have to add more manpower. "

Sanger's measure S has what's called a sunset clause which means after ten years voters will have to approve an extension of the sales tax increase.... if they don't approve it... then the city council would have to come up with a way to fund fire and police protection.


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