During the past 10 years Clearlake has received two infusions of State road bond money and a Federal stimulus package. It was all spent on our major road arteries. This money could only be used for CalTrans designated roads that benefit everyone – even people without cars. To spend public money that primarily benefits private property would be enriching specific individuals at public expense.
Before the 1970’s developers were not required to put in roads of any kind. Neighborhoods had to form Road Assessment Districts to build and pay for their own roads since they received most of the benefits. The paved roads you see in Clearlake Park and several other areas in Clearlake were paid for in this way.
This fair and commonsense way of paying for residential roads ended when Clearlake incorporated. From this date on there has been no serious effort to form neighborhood owned and controlled road assessment districts. We are told by local leaders that we should not bother because they are diligently working on ways to subsidize private property.
The proposed one-cent sales tax will take exactly that amount from sectors it is now being spent within. That means a reduction of jobs. It will regressively hit the lower half of incomes the hardest. Only extraordinary measures can reduce the regressivity of sales taxes.
Residents that are already below Federal Poverty Level Guidelines should not be paying the road bills of property owners. Out -of-County trash lot owners will never pay a penny of local sales tax. Neighborhoods that pursue the proven solution of assessment districts will make absentee owners pay their share.
There is a City Hall belief that tourists will come here to spend sales tax money in a city that has not invested in infrastructure first. This is magical thinking.