Oroville seeks to increase sales tax by a full cent – letter writer does the math

13 Sep

Thank you Steve Christensen for writing the following letter to the Enterprise Record. We need more people like Steve.

Oroville’s tax proposal would be far above norm

Chico Enterprise Record 9/13/16

In November, Oroville voters will decide whether or not to approve Measure R, a $ 3.6 million tax increase ( 1 percent added sales tax). Mayor Linda Dahlmeier said Oroville has fallen behind because we’ve not yet raised sales taxes. I’ve researched cities in Butte County and the six adjacent counties that surround us. Only four cities in this neighborhood of seven counties have already imposed an added tax by increasing sales tax ( Red Bluff one- quarter of 1 percent, Paradise, Wheatland and Williams one- half of 1 percent).

None of these four collect the other added tax, the utility tax. Oroville does. Utility companies in Oroville are required to add 5 percent to our utility bills and send it to the city. Annual revenue is $1.6 million, which averages $100 per citizen. The total population of the four cities with the added sales tax is 50,000. The total added sales tax revenue is $2.5 million, which averages $50 per citizen.

We’re already paying twice as much in added tax as our neighboring similar cities. If Measure R passes, Oroville’s added tax revenue ($ 3.6 million in new tax plus $1.6 million in existing tax) will average $ 325 per citizen. That’s 6 1/2 times more than any city in our circle of counties.

Measure R calls for a full 1 percent increase, twice the amount of the other cities. Measure R does not repeal the utility tax, which none of the other cities have. Oroville wants way too much from us.

Vote no on R.

— Steve Christensen, Oroville

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