Yes on T and U

Less piles of yard waste on the city of Sacramento’s streets, more piles of cash in City Hall’s coffers. That’s the hoped-for endgame if voters approve Measure T and Measure U, both of which SN&R endorses.

Measure T specifically would repeal 1977’s Measure A, which prohibited the city from requiring yard-waste containers. The city hopes to curb illegal yard-waste dumping and also make the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

A yes vote on Measure T does not, however, mean the end of Sacto’s “claw”; the city will still send the claw out to pick up loose leaves and incidental waste to keep storm drains clear.

A yes vote on Measure U, meanwhile, will help pay for these services. Measure U, called the Essential Services Protection Measure, will raise the city’s sales tax by half a percent—from 7.75 percent to 8.25 percent—over six years.

We’re not thrilled about a regressive tax, but city services—police, fire, solid waste and libraries—have experienced unprecedented cuts over the past five years. And the estimated $28 million in added revenue from Measure U will go a long way to ensuring that Sacramento’s fundamental services are preserved.

Last week, the city council approved a special committee to oversee how Measure U funds are spent. This is encouraging—but we also hope leadership continues to look at ways to cut spending and improve efficiency at City Hall.