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Guy

### What can we tell from the Measure L (Mill Valley Sales Tax 1.0%) polls?

Well it has a very high chance of passing.

EMC Research conducted several polls regarding Measure L from January 25 to February 8, 2024. They conducted four polls of likely voters.

- An initial poll just presented Measure L's purpose to enact a 1% sales tax increase to undertake capital expenditures to repair and replace bridges, roads, sewers and storm drains, etc. The resulting In Favor poll was 60%.
- A second poll focused on the resulting sales tax increase to 9.25% associated with Measure L. This poll focused on the negative side (the cost bit). The resulting In Favor dropped to 48%.
- A third poll focused on the positives including guaranteed source of local funding, citizen oversight, emergency preparedness. The resulting In Favor bounced back up to 64%.
- A final poll including all information (objective, positive, negative). The resulting In Favor was 58%.

**We can segment likely ****voters into three categories**

__The die hard supporters at ____48%__. Even when solely focused on the cost of Measure L, they are still in favor.

__The die hard detractors at 36%__. This percent is equal to: 1 - 64% = 36%. Even when focused on the positives, they will not vote in favor of Measure L. They think it costs too much.

__The influenceables at 16%__. This percent is equal to: 1 - 48% - 36% = 16%. We can also get there using this other calculation: 64% - 48% = 16%.

The most likely outcome at the time of the polls is in the 58% to 60% range.

**What is the probability of Measure L passing? **

To convert the polls into a probability of passing, let's focus on the final poll with complete information with 58% In Favor. As disclosed by ECM Research, it is associated with an error margin of + or - 8.5%. This means that the 58% In Favor is associated with a 95% Confidence Interval ranging from 49.5% to 66.5%.

Measure L needs 50% to pass. The poll error margin is 8.5% associated with a 95% confidence interval. This means that the poll's underlying standard deviation is: 8.5%/2 = 4.25%.

The poll of 58% is 1.88 standard deviation above the 50% threshold.

58% - 50% = 8%

8%/4.25% = 1.88

And, the 1.88 standard deviation above the 50% threshold corresponds to a 97% probability of passing. The 97% corresponds to the area under the Normal distribution curve to the left of the 58% mark that corresponds to 1.88 standard deviations above the 50% threshold.

Of course those polls are pretty dated. Nine months will have passed since the polls until the November ballot-elections. However, time may be on Measure L's side. The City has done a good job of specifying the $150 to $180 million in capital expenditures that will be needed over the next 15 years. That comes out to $10 to $12 million per year. And, Measure L 1% sales tax increment will raise a modest $4.2 million per year for only 10 years. Thus, it is a modest gap-financing relative to the large prospective capital expenditures needed to maintain Mill Valley's infrastructure.

Others have noted how Mill Valley structured Measure L in a fiscally responsible way, especially when compared to Novato's Measure M (raising over $10 million in annual sales taxes forever to bridge annual deficits of less than $4 million out to 2030 does not make sense). The Marin Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers also agrees with this assessment as it supports Measure L; and it does not support Measure M.

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