Supervisors weigh ballot initiative to increase sales tax for wildfire prevention


(File photo by Matthew Keys for Solano NewsNet)

Voters in Solano County could be asked in November to approve or reject a sales tax increase.

The ballot initiative will be up for debate at the Solano County Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning.

A resolution published in the Board's meeting agenda said the initiative would call for a one-eighth percent sales tax increase, which could add $9 million to the county's general use fund each year.

All funds raised from the general sales tax increase would remain in Solano County and would be subject to regular auditing, the resolution said. Groceries, prescription medication and other "essential purchases" would remain exempt from the sales tax.

The resolution said increased wildfire prevention and response measures throughout Solano County necessitate additional revenue sources, and that a sales tax could help fund those initiatives. But nothing in the resolution says additional revenue from the sales tax would specifically go to wildfire prevention measures — only that it could.

If the resolution is passed, the sales tax issue would go to voters in November. If voters approve the increase, county officials would be required to receive reports from the county's financial staff twice a year on how the funds spent from the sales tax increase were used. Those reports would be made available to the public, the resolution said.

The Solano County Board of Supervisors meets on Tuesday, August 2 at 8:30 a.m. The meeting takes place at the Solano County Government Center located at 675 Texas Street in Fairfield.

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