EUREKA- Humboldt County residents may see a new tax in the future. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday in support of a motion to poll citizens about a new tax measure.
Voters will be asked their opinions on two county tax options. The first option is a 3% utility tax increase, with an additional 45% tax for those exceeding 600% of the energy baseline. The other option is a .75% sales tax. The board will hire a third party polling service to conduct the poll.
The board voiced their support of a new tax, citing a need for more revenue to fund essential county public services. For public safety, this could mean an increase in resources and better service to the outlying areas of the county.
“We're optimistic with the state budget turned around and a very supportive Board of Supervisors,” said Humboldt County Undersheriff Bill Honsel. “We're optimistic that a ballot measure would get on the November ballot and that the people could speak in the county and say we want to support public safety and bring back services for not only the sheriff's office but the DA's office and also probation. We're all kind of hurting for money right now.”
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has experienced reduced staffing in the past year due to a lack of funding and does not currently have 24-hour coverage of the county’s outlying areas. The new tax would increase funding for county police as well as other needed county services.
The board will use the poll results to determine which tax will be placed on the November ballot.