Measure H: Willows supporters say it helps firefighters, others are against increased sales tax

Northern California is less than a month away from election day and one measure on the ballot for a local city, a proposal to increase the sales tax.

Posted: Oct 19, 2020 6:04 AM

WILLOWS, Calif. - Northern California is less than a month away from election day and one measure on the ballot for a local city, a proposal to increase the sales tax.

Supporters say its to equip firefighters in Willows with life-saving equipment they currently do not have.

Reporter Jafet Serrato breaks it down and talked to both sides of this measure.

Visit the Willows Fire Department and you'll see a sign that reads: "vote yes on Measure H."

"Measure H is a three quarter-percent sales tax," said Nathan Monck, a firefighter from Willows Fire Department, adding "it takes a two-thirds majority to pass which means it's a separate tax dedicated to the fire department."

Monck says those tax dollars would be used to equip some fire trucks — with life-saving equipment.

"With that equipment and supplies is going to allow us to do is treat any medical emergency the same level an ambulance would," Monck said.

Nearly a year ago Action News Now first told you that there are only two ambulances serving all of Glenn county that means slow response time.

"If we were to staff an ambulance that ambulance then becomes part of the 911 system, and it can get taken anywhere else," Monck said.

Monck says Measure H dollars would add four trained paramedic firefighters and two firefighters 24/7, 365 days for the city of Willows.

Right now, the sales tax in Willows is 7.25 percent. Should Measure H pass, that would go up to 8%. Meaning people in Willows would have to pay an extra .75 cents for every $100 they spend a month.

"I oppose it," said Rebecca Jarman adding that "it's basically for wages to glorify their fire department. The fire department may respond but you're still going to have to wait for that ambulance."

"It's tough because I understand where people are coming from. But the tax increase is minor," said Timothy Danley, a supporter of Measure H.

Danley adds that not paying more could be a matter of life and death.

"My parents are getting up there in age. And when you start getting to their age you start worrying about heart issues that could happen," Danley said.

"Your fire department is essentially an issuance policy. nobody thinks about their insurance policy until they need one and hope they paid for a good one," Monck said.

This is a city measure, not a county one.

Monck adds that his fire trucks are only equipped with basic life support equipment such as bandages, oxygen and EpiPens.

Measure H if passed would include independent audits, according to Monck. 

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Tuesday was another beautiful day for northern California as a cold front began to bear down on the West Coast. We can expect increasing clouds late tonight, stronger breezes, and a chance for mountain rain and snow showers.
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