Why Now? Why Not? The Case for Measure L
Is this the right time for a transportation tax? Why now?
Well, why not? This is the real question!
81 percent of all Californians pay a one-half cent sales tax for local transportation needs. Is this something we should consider in our county? Don’t the sizeable funds that currently come from the gas tax already pay for our local transportation needs? If we don’t see that money, who does it go to? If we pay it; wouldn’t it just automatically come back to us for us to determine how it is spent? Furthermore, we are paying enough taxes, why are you asking us to pay more? It just seems that we are always asked to pay more and more in taxes, and do we see any benefits from those?
Let’s try to answer the last question. Let’s take our local and self-created Library Tax, which is different than state taxes. How does the Library Tax work? We tax ourselves 1/8 of a cent, which goes directly to the libraries in the county. Because we self-fund the libraries by taxing ourselves, we are able to use those funds directly for our libraries and thankfully, they receive the funding they need to survive. We directly chose where those funds would be applied, as opposed to state taxes, which we do not have control over.
Similarly, Measure L, or the self-generated transportation tax, allows us to choose how our money is spent. The only money from these taxes that the state will see is from processing our money. The money that comes back to us to be spent on very specific, self-determined projects.
You can find all of the projects that will be done in your community and funded by the transportation tax by visiting www.MeasureL-Yes.com. By law and ordinance, these funds must be applied to these predetermined projects, so you can be confident that your taxes will not be spent on anything else. To promote transparency and accountability, a citizen’s oversight committee will audit the spending of these funds annually to ensure that the money is being applied as promised to the citizens of Stanislaus County. If your particular community leaders pull any of the funding that they are already spending on transportation needs and move it to any other category in their budget, then their funding from this tax is eliminated and they will not receive any more until the previous funding is put back into its designated account.
With this level of transparency and accountability, it is no wonder that 81 percent of all Californian’s agree to tax themselves. The money is actually spent where and how we want it to be spent. Now that’s a novel idea. What has taken us so long here in Stanislaus County to figure this out? Wouldn’t you like the opportunity to control where your taxes go? The state and the Fed can’t take our self-taxed funding away like they do with most of the state and federal taxes we pay. It is now our turn to keep our own money right here and use it for the betterment of our local transportation needs. The time is long past! Don’t let this opportunity pass us by again! Vote Yes on Measure L.
Note: After voting for our government leaders, skip over all of the ballot measures, find Measure L, vote yes, and then go back and vote on the rest of the ballot measures! Secondly, if you want to know the rest of the answers to the above questions, and any other questions you may have on the Transportation Tax, go to www.MeasureL-Yes.com and find what you are looking for.
Be sure and vote. Your vote matters. Put it where it counts.
By Craig C. Lewis, Chamber Board of Directors