Meyers Roundtable won’t mind paying for roads |

Meyers Roundtable won’t mind paying for roads

Greg Risling

Proposition the public for a half-cent sales tax and you are sure to get some opposition.

But it won’t come from the Meyers Roundtable.

The community-based organization supports, in concept, the sales tax initiative slated for the November ballot that will be funneled to the El Dorado County Department of Transportation for road improvements. Roundtable representatives say that Tahoe’s county-maintained roads need constant attention because of the beating they take from tourist travel and bad weather.

However, Tahoe residents in county areas will have to decide whether to accept that tax or develop another that would specifically fund transit projects in the basin. County officials may be forced to limit the proposed tax to the West Slope. DOT Director Michael Stoltz is skeptical that Tahoe residents would pass dual sales tax measures within a one- or two-year period.

“It’s tough to ask people to endorse two sales tax increases,” he said. “We don’t know if Tahoe will go on their own but that is the indication from the major players.”

Stoltz, El Dorado County Supervisor Ray Nutting and Supervisor John Upton’s assistant, Judi Harkins will attend Wednesday’s evening Meyers Roundtable meeting at Meyers Elementary School. The feature event will be discussion about the sales tax dilemma.

“I think the county’s sales tax is appropriate,” said Nick Carrell, the roundtable’s vice-chair. “It hits equally across the board and makes the tourist population participate in the upkeep of the roads.”

If a West-Slope initiative is approved, DOT must find another funding mechanism to repair roads from Echo Summit to the South Lake Tahoe city limits. One consideration is increasing homeowner’s parcel fees from $20 to $100.

Without Tahoe’s participation on the county measure, it is estimated there would be approximately $13.4 million less in anticipated revenue over a 10-year period for DOT. The agency expects to lost $1.5 million from its road maintenance program next year.

Though county supervisors have asked staff to pursue legislative support for a condensed sales tax measure, residents can stop the political surge to eliminate Tahoe off the ballot.

“I am in favor of El Dorado County dealing with its own problems,” Carrell said. “Road maintenance is very important in the basin and it will be intriguing to hear both sides of the argument.”

breakout box:

What: Discussion of countywide sales tax

Who: Meyers Roundtable

When: Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Where: Meyers Elementary School

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