Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

By Roger Gitlin – EYE ON DEL NORTE – January 7, 2022

Are you aware the sales tax in Del Norte County is going DOWN in a few weeks?

The 1/4 cent tax to benefit the Del Norte County Fairgrounds will sunset at the end of April, 2022. The financial impact of the tax is about $700,000 per year. The current Del Norte sales tax is 8.5% and will lower to 8.25% in May.

The tax was voted upon by the Board of Supervisors in April, 2015 and voters passed Measure F by the required 2/3 vote (plus a few more). I’m proud to say I voted YES on both my BOS vote and the Public vote.

The alternative not to pass this tax was daunting and unacceptable. The ever-growing homeless population and the Fair’s role in Del Norte County everyday life were too vital to ignore the consequences of leaving the State-owned DN Fairgrounds vacant.

Here are the particulars:

* The tax generated slightly more than $5 million. Another estimated $260,000 is expected before the tax SUNSETS, seven years after it was initiated.

* During that time approximately $1.4 million was dedicated and spent for Operations and Maintenance.

* On deposit with the DN County Recreation Dept and the Auditor/Contoller’s Office is just under $3.34 million.

I cannot underscore the importance of the Fair to Crescent City and Del Norte County.

Pre-Covid, the Fair generated 300 events per year of which most were revenue-generating.

The Fair is the Heart and Soul of our community. And its functions and purposes are extensive.

From housing frail Addie Meedom residents during a recent fire and during our endless challenges in dealing with the alphabet soup of Agencies addressing the myriad of regional disasters to the hosting of this Community’s most treasured events, the Fair has been There for all.

* At present there exists a $250,000 gap in keeping the Fair not just SURVIVING but FLOURISHING. That deficit must be addressed with the owner of the Fair, the State, which sometimes doesn’t answer the telephone on the first ring.

I take this opportunity to recognize the DN Fair Board and Board member John Pritchett who was very helpful in working with me in compiling this Post.

Also. I recognize Fair General Manager Kimberly Floyd who is tasked with working with every Federal, State, County, City governance and we Public who sometimes are not so easy to work with. Kim, John, other Board members and especially the incredible Staff who literally make our Fairgounds work. Job well done.

T H A N K Y O U !!!!

5 thoughts on “The FAIR has been THERE”
  1. Uh, let’s not forget the misuse of funds that occurred with these elected board members. I personally will NEVER advocate for this sales tax. The state had to bring a specialized team up here to conduct a performance evaluation which this management and board members including Brown nose Pritchett who supported and condoned the corruptive practices of the two elected boards. They failed miserably because they falsified time cards, bought alcohol with taxpayer’s funds, bought $,0003 to $6,000 saddles, paid for out-of-town family members’ hotels, took lavish vacations to Nevada Casinos, and other purchases.

    Pretty sick and tired of these good ole boys pretending everything is good when in reality it failed miserably. Nope, I certainly won’t blow smoke up anyone’s bottom for their conduct.

    But you all go ahead wink, smile, and shake hands. After all, that is the reality of corruption.

  2. If the fair is generating “300 events a year” why isn’t it self supporting? We don’t need another taxpayer subsidized public venue, we already have enough of them. If the fair can’t support itself, get something in there that can…. Roger, you may wish to look at the past articles by Linda Sutter regarding the questionable financial activities of the Fair board, before you start patting them on the back.

  3. I believe it is foolish to support additional funding for the fair. Raising taxes to support it even more foolish. Difficult to understand where the money goes from concessions and rides, which is not cheap.
    For the select few that attend, raise admission and rides to support it.

  4. WTF Roger? I find it hard to believe that you support this tax that is a waste of community resources? If people want to attend the County Fair, then let them pay for it at the gate! If the Fair requires a $10, $20, $50 or even a $100 entry ticket, THEN SO BE IT! Let the Fair Board live within their budget. How do they spend their money? They appear to be exempt from providing transparency regarding their financial records. If they want financial secrecy, then they will MUST generate their own financial resources through free-enterprise and industry!

    In years gone by, County Fairs were a showcase for community industry. Del Norte County, and for that matter most other California Counties, no longer have any industry left! After decades of Marxist leadership, we no longer have any manufacturing, lumber or mining, little agriculture other than our local pot growers, and local fisheries that are so anemic that they rely on government mooch tax handouts to keep the harbor running. After the release of most California felons from prison, police defunding, and pro-crime anti-victim prosecutors and judges, our once industrious State has become a crime-ridden cesspool. There is NOTHING to showcase any-longer other than Aunt Sandy’s blackberry preserves, Uncle Barney’s latest sculpture, or Little Susie’s prize pig!

    The Fair is the Heart and Soul of our community? That statement I will agree with! The heart and soul of this community seems to reside with a leadership of irresponsible mooches and deadbeats that cannot balance a checkbook and throw great parties, provide themselves with exorbitant salaries, toss endless amounts of money into the pockets of local Good-Ole-Boys; while providing a cheap free-ride to those who they bankrupted by never-ending taxes. Frankly, this sunset of this Fair Tax will not be the end of the Fairgrounds; just the end of $700,000 in mooch money that they never should have gotten their hands on in the first place.

    1. Wow, couldn’t have said it better! When this came up for us to vote on I heard the people boarding their horses there upset they might have to move them because they were getting such a bargain at the fairgrounds, i.e., sounds like we were subsidizing them.
      I’m voting “NO” on any new taxes and bonds. Where is all the money going from the new Sales Tax?

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