Our community is becoming overrun with criminal activity that is detrimental to the area’s business climate and overall prospects for economic development.
In a recent survey of Chamber members, the majority of our members surveyed indicated they would support a tax increase if it were directed to public safety.
Based on our interviews of City and County officials, law enforcement, and business leaders, as well as our research of the proposed Measure, we find no readily available alternatives for achieving the level of incarceration and law enforcement presence that is desperately needed in the short term.
The tax is estimated to generate about $5,000,000 in revenue annually, 100% of which is required to be used for crime prevention. Based on our assessment, this revenue is adequate to make a marked difference in both incarceration capacity and law enforcement performance, which will lead to improved public safety, a better business climate, and will encourage economic development.
We agree with the Mayor’s proposed plan of action for Measure F funds. The plan is to immediately borrow money from City reserves to lock up over 100 of the worst offenders by sending them to jails outside of Shasta County, and to begin to restore the police force to pre-recession levels that are needed now more than ever.
We have considered the community and business impacts of adding a 0.25% sales tax. Our view is that the benefits to be realized by our members and citizens far outweigh the costs (25 cents for every $100 spent).
Measure F represents a golden opportunity for the new City Council and our law enforcement to respond swiftly and effectively to our number one community concern in the short term, while assessing longer term solutions that don’t rely on a special tax.