Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Nevada County's Measure V is a Scam with Revenue to be Used to Pay Pensions and Salaries

Proponents of Measure V, such as most of the Board of Supervisors, Terry McAteer, and Kit Elliott, county counsel for Nevada County, keep telling the public in the local media that Measure V is a sales tax increase in order to "prevent" wildfires, reduce brush countywide, improving evacuation routes, maintain defensible space, and "for general government use."  The only item above that is guaranteed to happen is that Nevada County will spend the revenue from Measure V "for general government use" including for pensions and staff salaries.  Don't believe me?  Let's look at rare moments of honesty from Nevada County in pleadings filed with the Nevada County Superior Court and the auditor's report.

In their Response to the Writ of Mandate on September 6, 2022, Nevada County argued to the Court that, despite touting in the local media that Measure V is a sales tax increase to be used to prevent wildfires (which is impossible), the county can literally spend the money on anything they desire.  "Here, Measure V is nothing like the tax in Monterey because there are no specific projects that are earmarked for the funds, and the County has discretion to use sales tax revenues to fund “general government services.”  See Response, 12:20-23.  "Measure V is similar to the tax considered in Mendocino because the future sales tax revenues are not earmarked, and can be used for any general county services..."  See Response, 13:4-6.  

Contrary to the misrepresentations to the media by Nevada County and by the proponents of Measure V, revenue from Measure V is not "earmarked" in any way.  The idea that Nevada County will only spend the revenue from Measure V on wildfire prevention is a farce.  It is one thing for the government to lie to the public and to the media, but it is entirely another thing to lie to the Court, hence, the rare moments of honesty from Nevada County.  Indeed, Nevada County will be spending the revenue generated from Measure V on (you guessed it) pensions and salaries for County staff.  Unlike the admissions in court pleadings, this undeniable truth can be found in the Nevada County auditor's fiscal impact statement of Measure V admitting that revenue generated from Measure V will be spent on pensions and staff salaries.

Don't be fooled by the rhetoric coming from Nevada County.  As Rahm Emanuel said in 2008, "never let a good crisis go to waste."  Nevada County seeks to, as found by the Nevada County Superior Court, "play upon the heart strings of the public” in an effort to pass the general fund tax measure.  In addition, the Court also found that the County is counting on higher-than-expected inflation in order to generate even more revenue from local taxpayers creating an even higher tax burden on our local residents.  So, Nevada County is "play upon the heart strings of the public” in order to take advantage of the crisis related to wildfires and also capitalizing on the national inflation crisis to generate more revenue for pensions and administrative salaries.

Based upon the Court’s ruling and the County’s admission during the litigation and the auditor's report, it is clear that Measure V is a scam upon the taxpayers.  Don't be fooled by the rhetoric, because none of it is true.  Vote NO on Measure V.


  1. I posted that after I first read the measure and that the county wants it as a general measure instead of a specific measure. A specific measure would require a 2/3rds majority of which the county feels they cannot get and a general measure is a simple majority. The wording for the tax to go to fire suppression is a huge farce - once again, smoke and mirrors. Please consider a NO vote...

  2. Thanks for the insight. I understand the “unfunded liability” for pension plans in our County is well over $100M dollars (state is $1T). Every department head in our county (population less than $100K humans), receives a salary of $200K-$400K, not including the amazing pension, 100% health insurance, dental & eye care. Pretty sweet compared to the private working class. Pretty inappropriate. Tired of the poor planning & ignoring the public’s struggle, ignoring the Golden Rule & end justifies the means politics.

  3. It is a total scam. Time to cut services and staff at the county. They are out of control like the federal government. Bay area liberals coming to Nevada County to make government huge.

  4. Is this Terry McAteer?