Citrus Heights Sentinel Logo

Where do Citrus Heights council candidates stand on Measure A, road funding?

Citrus Heights Council Candidates for 2022. Top left to right: Albert Fox, Manuel Perez, Jayna Karpinski-Costa (District 4). Porsche Middleton, Natalee Price (District 5). Lower, left to right: Michael Nishimura, Steven Durham, James Tipton, MariJane Lopez-Taff (District 2). // Compiled by M. Hazlip

Sentinel staff report–
Eight of the nine candidates running for a seat on the Citrus Heights City Council this year have confirmed they are opposed to the 40-year Measure A sales tax proposal appearing on the November ballot, although some expressed openness to consider a local tax to fund road repairs in the future.

Measure A seeks to raise $8.5 billion in revenue over the next 40 years to fund transportation and roadway projects in Sacramento County, through a half-percent sales tax increase that would raise the sales tax from 7.75% in Citrus Heights to 8.25%.

According to an impartial county counsel analysis of Measure A, revenue from the tax would be allocated with 47.25% going to fund “local street and road repairs and improvements,” 25.11% going towards Sacramento Regional Transit, 22.43% for “congestion relief improvements,” 3.05% for senior and disabled transportation services, 2.16% for air quality programs, and a maximum of 1% on administration costs through the Sacramento Transportation Authority.

Each candidate was asked the following question: The City of Citrus Heights estimates a backlog of $82 million in road repairs, with the average roadway condition (PCI) expected to drop from 51 down to 43 (or worse) over the next five years. Do you support the new half-percent Measure A sales tax proposal as a way to fund road improvements in Citrus Heights and the county? If so, why. If not, what do you propose instead for funding road repairs and maintenance.

Candidates were asked for responses as part of a three-question Q&A, with their answers posted in full below, if responses were within the 100-word limit per question.


Michael Nishimura, District 2:
I do not support Measure A because the County has bigger issues outside of Citrus Heights, and the money will not be fairly disbursed within the City. Especially with the southern part of the County growing so quickly.

If we are going to create a transportation tax, We should do it locally as a city where we have control over how it is spent. And, if we were to impose a tax, the City should create a long term plan and be totally transparent about it. Much like the Citrus Heights Water District is doing with its 2030 project to replace its aging water mains system.

MariJane Lopez-Taff, District 2:
Do we really want to support a sales tax increase when everyone is suffering from a recession? We are trying to attract more businesses to Citrus Heights, not make it more difficult to do business here. This is not the time for this type of tax.

I would rather wait 2 years for the economy to settle, check the pulse of the local economy, then, possibly propose a tax measure that would be similar to Measure M (2020) with a 10-year lifespan – enough time to measure effectiveness and, if effective, an extension could be proposed.

Steve Durham, District 2:
I vehemently OPPOSE Measure A. The Measure’s backers presenting it as a half-percent increase in the sales tax rate is purposely misleading. It, actually, increases the amount of actual sales tax dollars we pay by 6.5%! (Just divide 8.25 by 7.75). Measure A is primarily backed by housing developers in Rancho Cordova! They want us to help fund the infrastructure roads that they are supposed to build! We already have laws that direct 50% of state excise taxes (and 2.25% local sales taxes) on gasoline to LOCAL roads and surface transportation.

*Editor’s note: Candidate James Tipton did not submit responses to The Sentinel’s questionnaire.


Jayna Karpinski-Costa, District 4:
No on Measure A. It’s a tax for 40 years — not likely to see improvements in Citrus Heights too soon. Less than half goes to roads… The streets targeted in Citrus Heights are Madison Avenue and other large arteries with no money for local neighborhood streets.

We voted no on Measure K and Measure M which would have dedicated 100% to Citrus Heights. Why would we tax ourselves for work outside our city? This year Citrus Heights finally gets nearly $7 million in property tax revenue. We’ll start fixing our streets, one pothole at a time without new taxes.
*Edited due to word count exceeding 100 words.

Albert Fox, District 4:
I do not support county-wide tax programs. Proponents promise much but deliver less than our contributions. Distributions favor the larger population areas. We have 4 major North/South and 3 major East/West traffic routes plus I-80.

Taxes or bonds fund road repairs and infrastructure improvements. We either take what is given by joint tax propositions or we take ownership of our cities future and find a local tax increase that meets voter approval. We need council members dedicated to improving our city who sit on the advisory committees and boards to negotiate support our projects.
*Edited due to word count exceeding 100 words.

Manuel Israel Perez-Salazar, District 4:
I don’t agree with any new taxes because inflation has already made it more difficult to live so I don’t see taking more money from our citizens. A budget over hall (sic) to see where we can reallocate funds.


Natalee Price, District 5:
How were our roads allowed a backlog of $82 million? I do not support Measure A. It is unclear how much this tax will benefit the streets of our residents if the tax use is county-wide, and it is not solely for road repair/maintenance. Furthermore, with post-pandemic inflation, now is not the time to hit taxpayers with a tax increase.

An increase in residency and commercial properties secures more tax revenue without increasing taxes on already financially burdened residents. With the City slated to finally receive property taxes, I propose we really press into development to fund road repairs.

Porsche Middleton, District 5:
We have to take a different approach to road repair because the current formula does not maximize our limited number of dollars. Measure A is not the best solution to funding road maintenance since the City will only receive a small portion of this regional tax.

A better solution would have been a measure allowing us to keep 100 percent of the revenue generated to fund road maintenance and repair. The council is working on that by exploring allocating more funding to arterial roads traveled by more drivers while paving courts.

*Editor’s note: Additional questions asked to candidates regarding public safety and homelessness are slated to be published in The Sentinel’s upcoming midweek and weekend e-editions.

Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free email edition and get two emails a week with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)