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Supes OK special election for public safety tax

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to hold a special election on March 7, 2017, that will put a proposed one-cent public safety tax before rural Madera County voters.

Tax revenues would be dedicated exclusively to funding the county fire department and the sheriff’s office, split 80 percent to 20 percent, respectively.

The county contracted VRPA Technologies to gauge the level of public support for the tax. Over several months, VRPA president Georgiena Vivian reported a high level of support for the tax, which needs a two-thirds majority to pass. She met with local stakeholders and community leaders and made presentations at town hall-style meetings.

The city of Madera voted in favor of a less restricted tax on the Nov. 8 ballot with over 80 percent approval. The March election will only include voters who live outside incorporated cities.

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