At first appearance the State of Jefferson proposal looks and sounds good. With smaller government and lower taxes, what could go wrong? Upon further analysis, the answer is plenty.
SOJâ€™s mantra of lower taxes is highly misleading. In 2013, Sierra County per capita income tax was $433.00 (2.7% tax rate) for a total of $1,336,000. The Jefferson Financial viability model proposes to increase that amount to $8,569,000 (641% increase!) Their proposal also states that corporations would not pay taxes. That leaves individuals and small businesses to absorb a $7,233,000 increase in income taxes.
Further, the SOJ proposal would have a devastating effect on our schools. The 2014/2015 school budget (County and district combined) was $7,476,000 of which $3,817,000 came from the State of California. If the State of Jefferson proposal succeeds, we will lose 51% of our budget. This would devastate our schools. How could we possibly make up for that loss?
In addition to the schools losing $3,817,000 in funding, the County of Sierra would lose almost $11,500,000 from the state. A loss of $15,317,000 state income would be devastating to our county.
My conclusion is that the SOJ proposal is not a viable option for Sierra County.
NOTE: It is a misconception that Sierra County property tax is collected and sent to the state. ALL property tax collected in Sierra County STAYS in Sierra County.
Mike Moore, Loyalton