Vote no on Measure "S" and why.
The past three years I have attended many city council meetings, sometimes I have agreed with their actions and other times I have not. When the council wanted new fire trucks, I spoke in favor of purchasing them. Just as I did when they wanted to buy new police cars. But, I am voicing my opinion about Measure "S". Here are some of the reasons, I am against Measure "S".
1. The language in which the measure is written, as a general tax, putting this tax increase in the general fund, allows it to be used as the council chooses. They say their intent is to give 70% to the Police and Fire Department, this is not guaranteed. If, it had been written without the parks and streets, that too I would have supported. We already have streets and parks budgeted, and if we need more money to support them, maybe the fees for using the services should be increased. We spent wasteful money on medians to be landscaped, I personally don't care if they're drought tolerant. If we as citizens are being asked to cut down on our usage, then they should be too.
2, When we raise our tax, it will put us above our surrounding communities tax level. I feel, this will encourage, residents that live on the edges, to do their shopping and business in those cities.
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Point to be noted about buying out of our city. At a previous city council meeting several police officers and firemen, spoke in favor of their support of this tax. However, there were a number of them that said, they shop in cities other than Hanford, that have a higher sales tax. So, let me get this right, I live and shop in this community, and your wanting to raise my sales tax, when you don't support our own home based businesses? Hanford basically is supported by three major contributors to our community: Agricultural, prisons, and the Lemoore Naval Air Station. (I know we have retail businesses, but, they are dependent on these too). With the increase of the new jet squadrons, this will increase our influx of revenue and Lemoore's.
Should we raise our sales tax? If we do, they may take their business out of town just as those officers stated. Agricultural workers and farmers are already being impacted by the drought with loss of jobs and crops. We have already seen a increase of our energy bills, higher grocery bills, the Hanford Public Utilities have increased this year, and with the threat of the state increasing our gas tax to up to 76 cents. We really need to look deeper in to this tax measure ( personally, I don't know why they didn't ask for a half cent tax, except maybe greed, make up for some other bad expenditures, or to spend the money, and say, hey look at what we have accomplished. But, at who's expense?) Our citizens on limited incomes, hard working middle class families, are going to have to tighten their belts one more time, these people, are already struggling to buy the basic needs. I ask you to vote No on Measure "S" and have the council and community leaders rework and reword this tax measure, surely they have a Plan B for S.