Supporting the proposed sales tax hike to fund public safety should be an easy call for most voters.
Crime is on the rise in Mesa County, but budgets for the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office have been slashed to the bone. Issue 1A will increase county sales tax by only 37 cents on a $100 purchase of non-staples. The $7 million that the tax hike is expected to raise won’t do much more than get the sheriff and the DA back to where they should be after years of recession-induced cuts.
But there are a lot of distractions standing between voters and an easy decision. The request comes at the same time that District 51 is asking property owners to pay more for school upgrades. And critics of the public safety measure are quick to suggest that the new revenues could be smudged into the general fund and diverted to other priorities.