Measure E, the proposed sales tax initiative that would benefit Fresno State’s facilities, is reportedly gearing up for another round.
According to a report from McClatchy, a Friends of Fresno State Campaign Committee is once again starting to organize efforts to place another version of Measure E on the ballot.
The backstory: Measure E was a 0.2 percent sales tax on Fresno County that would have brought in an estimated $36 million annually over a 20-year lifespan. Two-thirds of the funding would go toward academic facility improvements and scholarships. The remaining third would be allowed to be used for athletics, including renovations to the aging Valley Children’s Stadium.
- Measure E struggled to gain enough support in the community, however, as it received 47.14 percent of the vote, just a few percentage points off from the 50 percent threshold to pass.
The big picture: Harris Construction owner Richard Spencer was the only financial backer of the first attempt, spending $1.5 million of his own money. Spencer is reportedly reorganizing the measure for another campaign.
State of play: Tim Orman, the former chief of staff for Fresno Mayors Jerry Dyer and Lee Brand, ran Measure E’s campaign last year and expects the campaign to file the necessary paperwork to start collecting signatures by the end of May.
What they’re saying: Orman told McClatchy that the campaign’s messaging will shift this time around, saying the lack of specific messaging hurt the initiative last year and could make the difference in 2024.
- “A lack of specificity is part of why, and the two-thirds academics and one-third athletics – I don’t think that message was really very well understood,” Orman said. “A lot of people still thought it was a stadium tax. I think if we detail the projects that we want to do and include the stadium it will be much better understood, I hope.”