Measure A, "Taxing" Decision

March 3, 2009 8:49:31 AM PST
"Measure A" would increase the City of Clovis sales tax to help pay for more police and fire protection. It's an idea that's drawn strong reaction for and against.Measure a backers are confident residents will approve the measure. They plan to phone bank all day Tuesday to encourage voters to cast a yes vote. But the mayor and the chamber of commerce say raising the sales tax is the wrong thing for Clovis.

Measure A supporters are planning up until the last minute to get every vote possible before the polls close Tuesday evening.

Interim Fire Chief Rick Bennett said, "Most of the feedback we've been getting has been very positive. Most people recognize the need and they recognize the quality of life we have in Clovis and they are willing to step up to maintain that quality of life."

Those in opposition of the measure worked to remind voters, the tax has no sunset and will push Clovis to one of the highest sales taxes in the state.

Former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson said, "This is about a penalty for ordinary folks and it is also a competitive disadvantage for merchants in Clovis. This is not the way to improve the city, nor is it a way to improve the economy."

The current sales tax in Clovis is 7.975 percent. With the state increase it will rise to 8.975. If Measure A passes it will be 9.975 percent.

Fresno County Clerk Victor Salazar says he expects a better voter turnout than usual for a standalone election.

Fresno County Clerk Victor Salazar said, "It looks as though there's an increased interest in the city of clovis. The candidates haven't changed as much but measure a seems to be drawing a lot of attention."

So far 10 thousand absentee ballots have been turned in ? That's 20 percent of the total number of registered voters in Clovis.

Many business owners and city leaders are split on what they believe the measure would mean for shoppers and residents.

Cora Shipley said, "I really don't think they are going to choose not to come to Clovis. They choose to come to Clovis because of what we have here because it is a safe environment, they don't have to worry about pushing their baby strollers down the street or their cars getting broken into."

Clovis Mayor Bob Whalen said, "We are hoping that the citizens of Clovis will join me the mayor of the City of Clovis the Lincoln Club, the Republican Party, the Fresno Bee, that citizens committee in voting no on Measure A."

The County Clerk expects about 10 percent of voters to show up to cast their ballot in person. That's 30 percent overall. To pass the measure needs 50 plus one percent.

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