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Ballot Measure Aims to Increase Public Safety
Ballot Measure Aims to Increase Public Safety

Some local ballots will be a taxing experience

For the second time in five months, Hemet voters will be asked today if they want to increase their city’s sales tax to pay for extra police and fire protection.

If passed, Measure U will add one cent in sales tax to every dollar spent in the city, except for most groceries, prescriptions and services, according to a statement on the city’s website.

Measure U would be a general tax, which requires a simple majority to pass.

Measure E, which Hemet voters rejected in June, also would have raised the city’s sale tax by one percent. It requires a two-thirds majority to pass, a threshold it wasn’t quite able to reach.

Backers of Measure U believe they have made their case and are confident going into today’s general election, Fire Chief Dave Brown said.

“If it fails it won’t be because of a lack of effort,” said Brown, who says the Hemet police and fire departments desperately need more revenue if they are to provide basic services. “We’ve knocked on doors and talked to community members. There’s not much more we can do.”

Voters in Temecula and Riverside will vote on similar tax proposals. About 250 bond measures, general taxes and state taxes will appear on local ballots throughout California today, according to the League of California Cities.

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