SLO sales tax renewal lacking needed support

April 2, 2014

sloThe San Luis Obispo City Council majority must muster four votes in order to place a renewal of its half-cent sales tax on the November ballot. But, as of Tuesday night, only three council members support doing so.

At a council meeting Tuesday evening, Mayor Jan Marx, Councilman John Ashbaugh and Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson expressed support for renewing Measure Y, the city’s half-cent sales tax. Council members Dan Carpenter and Kathy Smith expressed opposition.

After a heated discussion, in which Marx called Carpenter and Smith obstructionists, the council voted 3-2 to direct city staff to craft a potential ballot measure and bring it back to them by July for review. The 3-2 vote, with council members Dan Carpenter and Kathy Smith dissenting, is enough to get staff working on the ballot measure. But, when the proposed measure returns to council, a 4-1 or 5-0 vote will be necessary to place it on the November ballot.

Smith said she does not trust the city to use general-purpose sales tax money as promised, but she would support a specific use tax.

In recent months, staff members have struggled to identify capital improvement projects the city has completed using Measure Y funds. Staff is now championing its use of Measure Y funds for street maintenance and storm drain replacement, which many residents considered expected services prior to approval of the sales tax.

If the council places a general-purpose sales tax renewal on the ballot, it will require a majority vote to pass. However, two-thirds of voters must support a specific use tax in order for one to pass.

 


28 Comments

  1. SamLouis says:

    Marx has quite a mouth on her, doesn’t she? Anytime anyone disagrees with her, she immediately starts flinging the ad hominem attacks.

    Grow-up, Marx. It’s no longer cute.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  2. NorthCountyGuy says:

    Sales tax is a regressive form of taxation that rewards the rich and punishes the poor.

    The incompetent tax and spend fools in our local governments need to read and heed the Laffer Curve. The Laffer Curve proves that when taxes are increased, revenue decreases.

    Jim App’s obscene 8% city sales tax for Paso Robles is proving to be nothing but a taxpayer-robbing scam.

    The streets of Paso Robles are decaying into rubble, criminals and drug dealers are running wild and destroying Paso Robles while Jim App’s Ol’Boy Clique of greedy, criminal-class cronies are lining their pockets at the expense of the taxpayers.

    Raising taxes in a depressed economy is the folly of fools.

    Shame on the fools who voted for an 8% sales tax in a depressed economy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • Paso_citizen says:

      Oh, so right about most of the streets of Paso. The one exception is the new, improved
      21st street (between Vine and the Paso Robles Event Center). Hopefully, many of the citizens have visited this magnificent street (with its benches, bicycle racks, landscaping, rock-lined ditches down the middle, and hundreds of rotating sprinkler heads that use tons of water). This is a prime example of what a city can spend its tax money on.

      Inside sources tell me that the City is working on a Proclamation to officially re-name this street. New name will be the “Appian Way”, in honor of the King of Paso – Mr. Jim App. For those who have studied history, it is noted that the original Appian Way was built in ancient Rome – sometime in the 4th century BC. This road was in honor of Appian Claudius Caecus – a noted Roman censor. A Roman censor was the person in charge of supervising public morality and overseeing most aspects of government finances.
      How appropiate! The Big Phat Bald Guy will soon have his own Appian Way!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. shelworth says:

    Considering the spending abuses we see everyday reported on CCN let’s hope this and any other taxes are stalled at the gate. No matter what they tell us they need it for, you know it will just go to their ridiculous retirement fund.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • falconbh says:

      shelworth- I’m confused are you talking about the SLO temporary Sales Tax…The Pismo Beach Sales Tax…The Five Cities Fire Authority New Tax & Pension Bailout…Arroyo Grande Sales Tax…Grover Beach Road Tax….Paso Robles Sales Tax….Upcoming Oceano Infrastructure Bond….sorry I just get really confused with all these local taxes.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. willieslo says:

    SLO use to be the most serene and ideal place to live, retire or visit … not any more!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  5. wineguyjc says:

    This is just alike a bad rerun. Heir Litchig, Irons and Dietrick informed staff in emails that if Measure Y doesn’t pass, then concessions will happen – so no wonder staff is behind this ballot initiative. In addition, if history repeats itself, Measure Y will pass, then staff will receive huge raises, and the funds for Measure Y will be utilized to back fill funding that was diverted for salaries and benefits.

    Now, the next question is why anyone will vote for measure Y since last time we were promised, albeit verbally, that the funds were to be used for specific purposes and it took several years for some of those funds to be utilized for the specific purposes verbally promised. However, the bulk of the funds were used to backfill general funds used for huge raises.

    Another question to consider is since the City has nearly $25 million in reserves, $80 million in a slush fund and nearly $300 million in assets why does the City need a sales tax increase to pay for basic services. The City amassed the $80 million in less than 10 years all the while pleading their pauper status – how about this, they lied to us.

    Lastly, consider the scandals that our tax dollars pay for: (1) 2 police officers convicted of importing contraband into the U.S., (2) one officer convicted of trafficking drugs, extortion, blackmail and abuse of authority under cover, (3) a city public works inspector revealed for having misappropriated thousands of dollars in city assets for personal gain, (4) a utilities employee was revealed for charging unsuspecting residents for the services he is paid to do as a city employee, (5) an administrative assistant in police went postal on fellow employees on facebook, (6) a utilities employee busted for cultivating marijuana on city property, (7) three utilities employees revealed for having intentionally dumped hazardous waste on city property, (8) a city attorney repeatedly providing unsound legal advice to council concerning homeless rights costing the city millions, (9) the same city attorney providing unsound legal advice to council regarding labor rights resulting in another public employee relations board violation, (10) a city fireman nearly kills another bar patron then goes on the lamb, is fired, tried then gets his job back with full benefits, (11) another police officer assaults a member of the community and the city pays out several hundreds of thousands of dollars, (12) the city hired and employed a convicted registered sex offender in utilities, (13) an idiot waste water treatment supervisor runs an experiment at the sewage plant without water board approval, causes a discharge of raw sewage into the creek and the city is fined by the water board – taxpayers pay, (14) water rates and sewer rates keep going up and up – highest in the region, (15) and the list goes on and on.

    What is truly disturbing about all of this is that: (1) the peace officers were paid until they were convicted and still will receive their pensions and two of the officers may get their jobs back with back pay, (2) the public works inspector following his reprimand for misappropriation of city assets was awarded nearly $20k in overtime the following year per this website, (3) the brawling fireman was hired back, (4) the utilities guy running a scam kept his job, (5) the city promoted the administrative assistant in police after going postal on fellow employees on facebook, (6) following the repeated unsound legal advice provided by the city attorney she was given a raise for her stellar work according to former councilman Carter and then she got her worthless brother-in-law a job in community development without putting the position out to the public and the list goes on and on.

    So again, why would anyone vote for Measure Y? Hats off to Carpenter and Smith for saying no! If they get more money, they will just waive building fees for their friends projects and build a homeless campus to employ heir litchig’s husband.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  6. Mr. Holly says:

    Every citizen in each of the cities in San Luis Obispo County should keep watch to this event. The tax is sold on being the save all all for the roads that are in disrepair. Unfortunately for the taxpayer if these taxes are approved without the super majority vote all of the money just goes into the cookie jar where no one really has to justify where it will be spent. If in fact ALL of the money is supposed to go to road repairs why are council members and city management so afraid of a super majority vote? The answer to that is pretty simple, 1. they would have to be 100% accountable for the revenue to go to roads and 2. they would not be able to move the money around to different departments calling it an administrative cost etc.. The city of San Luis Obispo should show what the entire income from the past tax increase was and exactly how much of that really went to road repairs. I don’t think that you will ever see that.
    Anyone who votes for a tax increase or a fee increase is foolish in these days, only those who benefit (pay raises, benefits and perks) would consider doing this.
    And yes Ms. Marxs, thank goodness that Carpenter and Smith are “obstructionists”, they are obstructing you from taking my money without having to justify where it will be spent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

    • SLOBIRD says:

      This tax increase affects us in many ways. The City has benefited in many ways as costs of goods increase – sales tax collected increases, cost of gasoline increases – sales tax collected increases, many new high consumer businesses have come to SLO – sales tax collected increases. Not only is this money going into the City’s General Fund to be spend at the will so are the business tax fees these business pay as well as all the regulatory and inspection fees. The City revenues have truly increased and this tax was never intended to be beyond the crisis during the fiscal recession. Things are back on course according to our President, our Governor, and everyone should review the City revenue from 2008 through 2013 (including current quarters of 2014) before you vote. The more money the government gets, the more they can spend and then they need more.

      Vote NO – NO – NO to extend Measure Y

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

    • SLOBIRD says:

      At least they aren’t selling it due to public safety or children needs, or library, etc. This is just money needed for the coffers to spend more, period!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    • Paso_citizen says:

      The “non-obstructionists” in SLO should take a lesson from the “fine, outstanding”? City council of Paso Robles. Instead of a six-year added sales tax, Paso citizens are stuck with a 12-year sales tax. The plan being that by 2026, all the reasons given for the increase will have been forgotten. (Actually, they have already been forgotten by most).

      Somehow, someway, this methodology of continual taxing the citizens for increased salariers, better benefits, and perks has to stop. How and when are the two unknowns.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

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