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.