Another View: Sales tax hike will let Rancho Cordova grow

The argument for Measure H in Rancho Cordova was begun as a simple yes or no vote in which the electorate would decide whether to add one-half percent to the current sales tax. Since The Bee’s editorial board said that a good enough case was not made for Measure H (“No to sales tax; yes to Budge, Skoglund,” Endorsements, Oct. 4), more information is apparently needed.

Keeping the city as it is would mean not having the ability to expand, improve the roads, or to increase police protection as the city grows. But to augment public safety and economic development, it is necessary, as unpleasant as it sounds, to spend more than is currently being spent.

To have a separate audit for the Measure H sales tax, current sales tax, hotel tax, property tax, etc., would be monumental. All of the city budgets are available to the public now. And while the sales tax does not have a sunset date, voters have the power to remove it if they choose.

One of the most important reasons to support Measure H is shown in dollars and cents. Before Rancho Cordova could vote on cityhood, the people had to come to a tax agreement with Sacramento County. The cost so far is more than $67 million, including $7.5 million that we paid the county in the 2013-14 budget. In the 2014-15 fiscal year, the city must pay $7.9 million. The amount increases every year.

Over the next 14 years, the sales tax revenue from Measure H can be the cushion that helps us finish paying our bill for cityhood. The last payment we will make to the county for our right to vote will be $11.2 million. And when that last payment is completed, the citizens of Rancho Cordova will have paid $202 million.

After that last bill is paid, our city will begin receiving and keeping all of our revenues. That indeed will be a time to celebrate.

Robert J. McGarvey is vice mayor of Rancho Cordova and a chief proponent of Measure H.