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City of Clovis Sales Tax Increase, Measure A (March 2009)

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A City of Clovis Sales Tax Increase, Measure A ballot question was on the March 3, 2009 ballot for voters in the City of Clovis in Fresno County, where it was defeated.[1][2]

If it had been approved, Measure A would have added a penny tax on every $1 in taxable purchases made within the city's limits, increasing the overall sales tax rate in the city to 8.975%. It was expected to generate $15 million a year in added revenues to the city. After 10 years, the tax would have dropped by a quarter of a cent.[3]

Majority approval was needed to pass the tax.

The Clovis City Council voted 4-1 in December 2008 to place Measure A on the March 3 ballot.[4]

Election results

Measure A
Defeatedd No11,09868.01%
Yes 5,221 31.99%
These final election results are from the Fresno County election office.


Supporters included:

  • Clovis Citizens for Yes on A, which received donations of $5,000 each from the local police and fire unions.[5]
  • Pat Cummings, owner of a 7-Eleven store in Clovis, who said, "I am very conservative; you can even consider me anti-tax" but who believed the tax was needed.
  • Clovis City Council Member Harry Armstrong, who donated $15,000 to support the tax.


Opponents of Measure A included:

  • Clovis Mayor Bob Whalen
  • Clovis City Council candidate Doug Foster.
  • The Clovis Chamber of Commerce.[6]
  • Don Watnick of Sir Speedy Printing.
  • The Fresno County Peace and Freedom Party was opposed to Measure A and urged a "no" vote. The basis for their opposition was the "long-standing position in opposition to any sales tax because these are regressive taxes. Regressive taxes are those which hurt poor people more than they do the rich."[7]
  • The Fresno Bee editorial board, which wrote, "In better times, this tax might make more sense. But for now, it's too much to ask of taxpayers."[8]

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure A: "To restore, maintain and improve essential city services and preserve the safety and character of Clovis, prioritizing police services, fire protection; street/pothole repairs; senior services, parks, youth anti-gang/drug prevention and recreation programs; expanded neighborhood patrols; graffiti removal, and other general city services/facilities, shall the city sales tax be increased by one cent for ten years, then reduced to three-quarters cent with independent citizen's oversight, annual audits, and all funds under local control?"[9]

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