Vote elections ballots
Metro Creative Graphics

MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County Board of Supervisors has approved the placement of a measure on the November 2024 ballot to increase the sales tax in Monterey County’s unincorporated areas by 1%.

If approved by voters in the unincorporated areas of the County, the measure will address anticipated budget shortfalls resulting from increased costs and funding cuts by the state and federal government. The sales tax will raise about $29 million to help the County maintain and enhance public services.

“Placement of this measure on the November 2024 ballot is a responsible and proactive step to secure the County’s financial future and continue delivering exceptional services to residents,” stated the County in a news release. “The Board of Supervisors for the County of Monterey urges residents to support this measure for the November 2024 ballot to ensure the County’s fiscal sustainability and capacity to serve the community effectively.”

A significant increase in the cost of maintaining the County’s aged critical infrastructure has been compounded with the rise in expenses driven by increased traffic on county operated and maintained roads, population growth, infrastructure that includes water and wastewater systems, climate change impacts and increased regulatory requirements.

“Infrastructure requires intensive maintenance, repair and upgrades to ensure safety and functionality,” the County stated. “To address this need, the County must allocate substantially more resources to ensure resident and business needs are met today and into the future.”

Funds collected from the increase in the sales tax will be used to provide funding for critical County services. These include: street maintenance and pothole repair; enhanced public safety; programs to reduce homelessness; emergency services and disaster response, prevention and recovery; libraries, parks and recreation facilities; water and sewer infrastructure maintenance; healthcare; job skill development programs; traffic and road safety programs; and clean affordable drinking water programs.

“More than ever before, residents need the services the County provides. This need is driven by both population growth and economic circumstances,” stated the County.

The onslaught of natural disasters, including major floods, fires and strong winds — all of which impacted the unincorporated areas — have severely drained the County’s strategic reserves. To replenish these reserves and prepare for future emergencies, added funding is necessary, according to the County.

In addition, modern safety and security require an “investment in technology critical to ensuring the safety and security of residents, workforce and visitors,” the County stated.

The existing sales tax rate in the unincorporated area lags every city in the County and several smaller jurisdictions, as well. Alignment will generate essential revenue to bridge funding gaps for needed services.

“A proposed sales tax increase of 1% is a necessary and strategic response to the financial challenges facing the County of Monterey,” stated the County. “The increase will address the immediate need for revenue to sustain and improve public services, enhance public safety and replenishes the County’s strategic reserve for future emergencies. This also aligns the County of Monterey with a tax rate equal to neighboring jurisdictions.”

Ballots for the Nov. 5, 2024 Presidential General Election will be mailed by Oct. 7.

Previous articleFunny Papers Again Column | My Bookish Ways During These Triple-Digit Days
Next articleSalinas Valley Titans win Pony League regional title
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here