The Tuolumne County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors approved a recommendation at a public meeting on Tuesday (Oct. 15) to prepare separate ballot measures for the March 3 primary election that would increase the county’s sales tax and lodging tax, according to The Union Democrat.

The board voted 4-0 in favor of county staff’s proposal for a measure to increase the sales tax from 7.25% to 8.25%, in addition to another that would increase the so-called Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from 10% to 12% and expand it to RV parks and campgrounds.

County Supervisor Anaiah Kirk was not present at the meeting.

If both measures pass, they would provide an additional $5.5 million in revenue to the county’s coffers each year. The board this year was faced with making cuts and layoffs to balance a budget that was $4.2 million in the red.

“Our biggest problem is our future is on us immediately,” said County Supervisor John Gray. “We need money today, not tomorrow.”

Gray, the longest serving board member who’s in the midst of his third and final four-year term, said he wouldn’t support a tax increase if he didn’t believe the board had done a good job of managing the county’s finances.

The board will have to approve first and second readings of two separate ordinances at meetings on Nov. 5 and 19, respectively, to meet a Dec. 6 deadline for getting measures on the March ballot.

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