Hard row to hoe with sales tax do over

If at first you don’t succeed, well, maybe, just maybe, you’d better try, try again.

As everyone in the county probably knows by now, Measure J, the local sales tax increase measure put to county voters in the June Primary Election failed miserably — with 4,348 residents (71.49 percent) voting no and only 1,734 residents (28.51 percent) voting yes.

A second ballot item — Measure K — provided an advisory measure from the voters to city and county government that most of that three-quarters of a cent sales tax increase (if approved) must be spent on public safety received 3,337 yes votes (56.23 percent and 2,598 no votes (43.77 percent).

Faced with tight budgets and possible cuts to services provided to residents, the Lassen County Board of Supervisors may approve a measure today for inclusion on the November 6 General Election.

This measure requires 75 percent of the sales tax increase will fund public safety in both the county and the city, with about 55 percent of the increase going to county government and about 45 percent of the increase going to city hall. Because the funds raised by this measure will specifically fund public safety, it must be approved by a greater than 2/3 vote of county residents — a vote some say is impossible given Lassen County’s reputation as a conservative and anti-tax stronghold in Northeastern California.

Due to our long-standing policy, the newspaper does not endorse political candidates or ballot measures, but this could be a very important vote. We trust the voters will educate themselves, decide if this sales tax increase is in their best interest and then vote accordingly.