Support expansion of TOT; Measure C

By Union Democrat staff April 27, 2012 01:00 pm

Voters have an opportunity June 5 to support two of the most historic and essential operations in our community — Railtown 1897 and the Mother Lode Fairgrounds.

Both of these institutions have seen funding cuts by the State of California. The Department of Parks and Recreation has designated Railtown 1897 as one of 70 state parks to be closed. The state has also withdrawn funding from the fairgrounds — affecting not only the yearly Mother Lode Fair, but potentially dozens of other activities and events annually.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, to board members’ credit, have carefully crafted a measure for voters to consider that expands the county’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to include privately run RV parks, houseboats and campgrounds. Supervisors insured that exemptions would apply to charitable groups, scout camps, school-sponsored events and special-needs campers.

An estimated $350,000 in annual revenues could be raised with the passage of Measure C.

These dollars would support ongoing operations for Railtown and the Fairgrounds for three years.

This vote is extremely important. Should the measure fail, there are too many competing county needs in the current budget — and too few private sector and charitable dollars — to support and sustain both Railtown and the Fairgrounds.

We urge your support and your vote for Measure C on the June 5 ballot.