Coalinga passes resolution in opposition to Measure E

Councilmembers took issue with Coalinga’s tax money not staying local, with it heading to Fresno to support Fresno State.

The Coalinga City Council passed a resolution Thursday opposing Measure E, the 0.25 percent sales tax for Fresno County that would benefit Fresno State. 

The council argued, in part, that Coalinga residents would not benefit from the tax. 


The big picture: Measure E is projected to raise nearly $1.6 billion over its 25-year lifespan, which would support academic facilities and programs, as well as athletics at Fresno State. 

  • The current proposed project list from Fresno State has around 85 percent of the funding going toward academics, while the other 15 percent would be for athletics. 
  • The 0.25 percent sales tax works to one penny on every $4 purchase. 
  • Coalinga’s resolution says its residents should not cover the responsibility of the state to adequately support the university. 
  • The council also took issue with how the Measure E citizens oversight committee would work. Committee members would have the option, according to the measure’s language, to give themselves an annual salary equaling a senior Board of Supervisors assistant – which is currently around $80,000. 

What they’re saying: “It does not keep your money local. It goes to Fresno. Fresno will be the  beneficiary of these tax dollars,” said Councilman Nathan Vosburg. “When they build their new programs over there, it’s going to entice more people to leave small towns and go to Fresno. And when they do, and they spend their money over there if they’re going to these projects and services that are in Fresno, they’re going to reap the benefits, not Coalinga.” 

  • Vosburg argued that people will attend Fresno State to get an education and then leave the area. Fresno State says that around 80 percent of its graduates stay and work in the Central Valley. 
  • “I don’t want our taxes to fund positions for people to be able to teach and people to be able to get positions because they went to school, and then those people leave and go somewhere else off of the backs of our taxpayers,” Vosburg said. 
  • Mayor James Horn said Measure E is an extra expense that most people cannot afford.  
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