Petaluma poll: 70% back extra sales tax for police, firefighting, roads

Petaluma City Councilman Mike Healy said Monday a poll he commissioned shows nearly 70 percent of likely city voters would support an extra half-cent sales tax for eight years to pay for such services as police, firefighting and street repairs.

He revealed his findings at Monday's City Council meeting, saying "hard and soft support" for a general tax was about 68 percent. A general tax — one with broadly defined focus — requires a simple majority to pass.

He called the numbers "the greenest of green lights" for the council to put a sales tax increase on the November ballot.

Healy arranged for the phone poll after the council last week decided to informally gauge public opinion about a tax increase.

But Mayor David Glass took issue with the way Healy's poll question was phrased, saying it was too specific in mentioning potholes, streetlights, drug and gang prevention and school resource officers.

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