Tyler Silvy, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Some local officials who split sharply with the anti-tax group said the voting results represented the fall of an inflexible coalition that had lost touch with the electorate.
A powerful coalition of Sonoma County business groups that spent tens of thousands of dollars to fight local tax measures up and down the ballot appears to have lost every race, the group conceded Wednesday, a stinging blow for industry leaders who were piecing together what went wrong.
The 2020 Tax Moratorium Coalition, a group comprised of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, the North Bay Leadership Council and the North Coast Builders Exchange, spent nearly $80,000 to oppose eight county- and city-level tax measures, including a countywide sales tax extension for roads and transit projects and a new countywide tax to bolster mental health and homeless services.
But with preliminary results showing a solid majority of voters backed all measures, rejecting the group’s message countywide, county leaders and political experts say the coalition is due for a reckoning.
“I was dumbfounded when they took this position,” Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair Susan Gorin said Tuesday night. “And I think this is a repudiation of any coalition of groups to take an inflexible position on every tax measure across the board.”