Atwater voters left with tough choice: raise sales tax or watch public safety funding drop

A renewal of Atwater’s 10-year public safety tax isn’t as simple as extending the timeline. Voters have to choose between raising taxes beyond 2013 levels or losing key public safety funding.

Measure B

The City of Atwater is attempting to renew a half-cent sales tax that funds public safety services, although there is a twist. 

Atwater voters initially passed Measure B – known as the Atwater Police, Fire, 911 Emergency Response Measure – in 2013 for a 10-year period. 

If voters do not renew Measure B, it will expire next year and public safety funding will drop by around $2 million annually. 

The renewal would increase the sales tax rate from one half-cent to one cent. 

That increase is projected to bring in $4 million annually for Atwater. 

There is no automatic sunset clause in the Measure B renewal, meaning the tax would only end if voters decided on that in a future election. 

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