What Sonoma County Residents Need to Know About Measure G
On March 3rd, 2020, Sonoma County residents will vote on a half-cent sales tax to improve local fire prevention and protection by providing a designated funding source for installing emergency warning sirens and alerting systems; improving vegetation management to prevent the spread of wildfire; attracting and retaining qualified local firefighters and emergency personnel; and modernizing fire department equipment, facilities and stations. Measure G requires support from two-thirds of those who vote in the March 2020 election to pass.
What is the County asking for?
Measure G asks voters whether the County of Sonoma should impose a ½-cent special sales tax countywide to be used exclusively to supplement existing funding for disaster alerts, vegetation management, fire suppression and fire-fighting services, and wildfire prevention provided by the 38 fire agencies within Sonoma County. The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to place this measure on the ballot. The full text of Measure G, including the Expenditure Plan, is published in voter information pamphlets and is available as a PDF download HERE.
If approved, Measure G would impose a special tax that will provide approximately $51,000,000 of revenue annually. The Board of Supervisors will establish an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee to provide transparency and fiscal accountability. The new tax would go into effect on October 1, 2020, and remain in effect until ended by voters.
Why is this needed and what will this provide?
Measure G was crafted by Sonoma County Fire Chiefs based on a standard of coverage analysis of the entire county. Measure G will provide funding to facilitate the following:
- Recruitment and retention of approximately 200 new firefighters
- 9 new fire stations and 8 upgrades/relocations to better meet the needs of the community
- Emergency Alert & Warning Systems including improved alerts and sirens
- Vegetation management and Wildfire prevention services
- The Measure would also provide funding to the County of Sonoma to support regionalized alert and warning and vegetation management systems, and fire agency consolidations.
Why should these services be funded by a sales tax?
Sonoma County residents live, work, and play throughout Sonoma County and Measure G helps keep both residents and visitors safe. With a sales tax, visitors and residents contribute towards fire prevention, response, and preparedness, not just property owners.
To learn more, click below to view background information:
11/12/19 Board of Supervisor Summary Report, Resolution, Ordinance and Expenditure Plan