Local Elections

Placerville residents reject sales tax for roads

A measure to raise the local sales tax in Placerville has lost by nine votes, according to final election results certified Tuesday.

Measure I would have authorized the city to impose a 0.5 percentage point sales tax increase over 10 years. Seventy-five percent of revenues were to go to local road improvement projects and the other 25 percent could have been used for other city projects, including roads.

The measure, which would have increased the city’s overall sales tax rate to 8.5 percent, was supported by the Placerville City Council.

Outgoing mayor Carl Hagen said city officials and initiative opponents were on-hand last week as county election officials recounted ballots from the Nov. 4 election. The final count was 1,423 votes “no” to 1,414 votes “yes.”

Hagen said the city of 10,000 residents may put a similar measure before voters in 2016.

“I would hope at this point that we look at the possibility of doing better voter education over the next two years and explain the situation we’re in. We’re several million dollars behind in road maintenance.”

Placerville voters overwhelmingly approved another road-related initiative. Measure K, which won 58 percent to 42 percent, requires a public election and voter approval before the city can build any roundabout or similar traffic circle feature in the old Gold Rush town.

Call The Bee’s Peter Hecht, (916) 326-5539.