Turlock’s Measure A is a terrible idea. The City Council, Turlock Police, Turlock Fire, and many others favor an increase in the City’s sales tax. The increase would bring the City’s Sale’s Tax Rate from 7.875% up to 8.625%. The advocates for this Measure believe that this will help boost the City’s income. The Measure would help pay for much-needed services such as police, fire, park, and road maintenance. These are all vital services to the City, and many of these services keep us safe.
Furthermore, advocates claim that the increase will stay with the City. Most of the sales tax that is paid, only about 1%, goes to the City. The rest goes to the County and the State. However, this Measure is not the solution to Turlock’s thinning bank balance. When federal, state, and local governments start to lose money, or they want more for whatever reason, they go straight to the line, “Let’s Raise Taxes.” Raising taxes increases revenue, but there is another solution to increasing the money supply, and it is called “reduced spending.” However, I did not want to talk about the relationship between taxes and spending because there is another way that Turlock could see a more significant influx of money.
The elephant in the room is COVID-19 and lockdown. Turlock’s sales tax is not too low. It is not even being collected! Turlock has been in quarantine since March, and because of that, many businesses have closed down, therefore not providing any tax to the City. If the city business could open to full capacity, then the influx of money would return. It boggles my mind that people would want to raise taxes when disposable income is hard to come by. People are still out of work, and raising the prices on necessities is as ridiculous as not punishing a team for cheating their way to the championship.
Income and spending have a positive relationship. So if income increases, so too will spending and vice versa. When people are scraping by to live, raising taxes makes life Harder when it does not need to be. Increasing the sales tax will not solve Turlock’s money problem. It will make it worse. Since prices would increase, people would be unwilling to buy them unless necessary. If people are not buying, then the sales tax would not be collected. Businesses opening to full capacity will help Turlock. So, if you want park maintenance, road maintenance, and the fire and police fully funded, then lobby the City, county, and Governor Newsome to reopen. Do not vote “Yes” on Turlock’s Measure A.
— Richard Clark