October 18, 2018 - Four years ago, Mariposa County residents rejected a proposed increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax, but here are the Supervisors trying to do the same thing again and, apparently, expecting a different result. So here’s a suggestion: Why not look to the County’s second largest industry and consider imposing a Transient Grazing Tax?
Think about it. Cattle trample our scenic hillsides, eat our grass, pollute our air with methane and leave behind piles of you-know-what. And they don’t pay a penny in taxes for the privilege of grazing here.
According to the County’s 2015 Annual Crop Report (the most recent available on the County’s website), the total value of cattle and calves is nearly $30 million. A 10% Transient Grazing Tax (the same rate as the TOT) would produce $3 million in revenue for County government (the same amount anticipated in Measure M).
Importantly, this tax would not be paid by local ranchers. Instead, it would be paid at the auction by the winning bidder, who would then pass along the cost through processing and distribution to the consumers, who would pay just a few cents more per pound—an almost negligible amount.
No, this is not a serious proposal. But hopefully it does expose the sheer nonsense in the claim that pulling $3 million out of the local economy will have no impact on the many local businesses that depend, in whole or in part, on the money tourists spend. Taxes do take a toll, and Mariposa County already receives more TOT revenue per household than all but one of California’s 58 counties.
Please tell the Supervisors “No New Taxes!” by voting No on Measure M.