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Norco residents don’t want sales tax to fix roads, poll finds

By in Press Enterprise on May 18, 2017

By Stephen Wall

A one-cent sales tax measure to fix crumbling roads in Norco would fail at the ballot box, a city-commissioned poll found.

Fifty-six percent of Norco residents surveyed would likely favor a measure exclusively to repair roads, parks, fire stations, community centers, trails and storm drains. But that number falls shorts of the two-thirds supermajority required to pass a tax for a specific purpose.

The survey also found a general one-cent sales tax for a range of “vital” city services, including public safety and streets, had 53-percent support of likely November 2018 voters. A simple 50-percent majority is needed to approve such a measure.

Norco Mayor Greg Newton said he supports a tax to close a roughly $4 million shortfall to improve streets and public facilities. But he added that he needs to hear from more residents before deciding whether to put a measure on the ballot.

“It’s not the only solution,” Newton said of a tax. “You have to economic growth along with that. It ultimately comes back to what do the residents want.”

Newton said the city will make residents aware of the issues through social media, as well as in their water bills and newsletters.

“This is the very first step,” he said. “The next step obviously is education and having community meetings.”

The online and phone survey of 519 residents took place in early April and has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.3 percent.

The City Council in March approved two agreements totaling at least $45,000 for the poll. The Lew Edwards Group, an Oakland-based communications, government affairs and political consulting firm, is overseeing the project. Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, which has offices in Los Angeles and Oakland, did the survey.

The poll also found that residents identified the condition of streets as the most serious issue facing the […]    

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