SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — Sonoma County voters rejected a half-cent sales tax in Tuesday night voting that would have raised $51 million annually to supplement existing services by the county’s 38 fire agencies.
Under Measure G, 90 percent of the tax proceeds would have gone to incorporated and unincorporated fire agencies for alerts, warnings, sirens, vegetation management, response, wildfire prevention and preparedness, recruitment and retention of firefighters, equipment and facilities.
The Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors would have shared 10 percent of the tax revenue for other response and prevention needs and consolidating the fire agencies.
Annual estimated revenue increases would have been $25.8 million for independent fire districts, $7.8 million for County Service Area 40, and the cities of Santa Rosa, Petaluma Rohnert Park, Sebastopol Healdsburg and Sonoma will share around $12.3 million of the annual revenue.
Fire agencies and districts, excluding the cities, would also haved receive the tax proceeds if they work toward regional consolidation to achieve efficient, effective and sustainable services in the county. Consolidation reviews will take place once every three years.
The special half-cent tax required two-thirds approval and had just 61.77 percent approval with all precincts reporting early Wednesday morning.