Two tax measures head to voters in SLO County

June 25, 2014

election-2014The Atascadero City Council and the San Luis Coastal school board are both asking voters to provide them with more revenue. [Tribune]

The Atascadero council placed a half-cent sales tax measure on the ballot Tuesday night, while the San Luis Coastal board approved of a $177 million bond initiative. Both measures will appear on the November ballot.

Atascadero’s initiative is a general purpose tax which requires a simple majority vote to pass. The school district bond needs a 55 percent vote in order to gain approval.

Atascadero is currently the only city in San Luis Obispo County that does not have a half-cent sales tax. Its sales tax rate is 7.5 percent, while the other cities have 8 percent rates.

The council approved the sales tax measure by a unanimous vote Tuesday night. City staff says it needs the money to fix Atascadero’s deteriorating roads.

Funds raised from the tax, though, are not guaranteed to go to road repair. In order to assure that the money goes to roads, the council would have to place a specific use tax on the ballot, which requires a 67 percent vote.

San Luis Coastal plans to use the $177 million bond to help pay for facility upgrades at the district’s three high schools. If voters approve of the measure, the district will assess property owners $49 per $100,000 of property for up to 30 years.

The school district includes San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, Morro Bay and Avila Beach. San Luis Obispo voters will also decide in November whether or not to renew the city’s half-cent sales tax known as Measure Y.


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fishing village

We must support our schools, school teachers and students!


Kalalau

We already do! How about teaching students economics? Let them take responsibility for understanding costs and budgets and fund raising for all the wish list items!


SLOBIRD

You support them fishing village, leave your estate to the SLO Coastal School District, spread your wealth! I’m done on all taxes, bonds, fees, etc. They just want more and more and more.


Take away the employee benefits, they get a great salary for 126 days – 6 hour days of work and they can pay for the upgrades if they think it is so important.


SLOBIRD

As you give thoughts to voting in more taxes, be it education tax, road tax, pension benefit tax, etc. do not forget that we are looking at the following proposal in Sacramento and by the Federal government:


1) a proposed new carbon gas tax

2) a proposed increase in sugar soda tax

3) a proposed increase in cigarette tax

4) a proposed 12-15 cent increase in state gas tax

5) a proposed Cuesta Bond property tax

6) a proposed Atascadero School Bond property tax

7) a proposed SLO School Bond property tax

8) a proposed extension of the SLO Sales Tax .05%

9) a proposed Atascadero Sales Tax increase of .05%

10) a proposed minimum wage increase increasing

11) a proposed 47% increase in corporate tax

12) an increase in healthcare premiums

13) an increase in the cost of food

14) an increase in the cost of gas which increases the tax

15) an increase in the cost of water/wastewater

16) an increase in the cost of heating and electricity

17) an increase in the cost of goods and services in general


Remember this when thinking about voting for more taxes: a recent study by American for Tax Reform reveals that Governor Brown has enacted over $18 billion in tax increases since 2011 in order to fund state schools, pay for the high-speed “train to nowhere,” and bolster pension programs. More will be coming from Sacramento in 2014-15 as State employees received a 1.5 – 2% raise this year (costs: $187.5 million) and will receive an other raise in 2015 for approximately 3%!


NO MORE TAX INCREASES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


BeenThereDoneThat

Funny thing is we are paying more taxes now then forty years ago and getting a WHOLE lot less. What changed? A bunch of spend drunk politicians in Sac. want more social programs and that all siphons the money that could have gone to school’s, roads, etc.


SLOBIRD

Bingo, you discovered the problem but what is the solution? We cannot pay enough taxes to solve or maintain this problem.


Once you give the government a dime, you will never/ever see that dime again. Look at SLO, during the recession they sold the Measure Y – .005 percent sales tax increase to maintain infrastructure. Since that passage they have opened Target, Olive Garden, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Home Goods, Old Navy, Home Depot, Bev N Mor, TJ Max, Costco, just to name a few. Those stores in bringing in big bucks for sales tax. Is it enough? Of course not, SLO is not giving up that sales tax increase EVER and you have no direct accountability of where it went. Maybe the new 21 new employees and the highest paid police department in the state are more than benefitting from their hands in your wallet.


isoslo

Every government agency mismanages it’s resources. Every government agency wants more money. Every government agency promises that new money will managed more wisely. Only a fool would give more money to a group that has proven to be incompetent in it’s management of money. Could some of us actually be stupid enough to believe that more money will solve anything any government agency does?


falconbh

A lot of good comments on why we need to Vote NO on these Tax Inceases.


Let me just add a few comments; most families are struggling with wage stagnation, increased health costs, and core inflation. Seniors have limited incomes, young people getting started find themselves under a bigger tax burden, and the working poor will only find their ranks growing with more tax increases.


What I find so interesting is the complete disconnect from our elected officals and Main Street .


We have defeated the Police Bond Tax and Fire Tax and Pension Bailout.


Proposed Tax Increases


Property Tax Increases

Local Sales Tax Increases

School Tax

Road Tax

Water Tax Increases

College Tax

Sanitation Tax Increases

Pension Bailout Tax

Convention Center Tax

Sewer Taxes


When you add up all these New Taxes with All the Taxes you are already paying you have one Big New Tax Burden. We wll hear all the stories about why this is needed and what will happen “again” if we do not approve these new taxes ! They love to use schools, police, fire, water as the path to higher taxes. What they fail to recognize is we just do not have the funds to support these New Taxes.


We have logical options:


1. Elect New Leaders Who Support Tax Relief in November.

2. Reduce Compensation Levels and Fund Infrastructure Projects With Existing Tax Revenues.


Register-Vote- Change


Kalalau

Well said!


Mariposa

How ‘bout that California Lottery (Lottery) money. Not well informed nor being an expert concerning Lottery money allocated for education, a cursory search led me here:


http://www.calottery.com/giving-back/how-much-money


A search by county and specifically San Luis Coastal Unified School District (SLCUSD), yielded these results for K-12:


Fiscal Years

1st quarter 2014 = $335,947

2nd quarter 2014 = $350,613

2014 to date = $686,560

2013 = $1,286,617

Cumulative Lottery “Historical Total” (since 1985) to SLCUSD = $30,632,900.


Obviously, these figures are a “drop in the bucket” compared to the $177 MILLION

November bond initiative, but at least it’s something. And it’s “contributed” via residents who choose to purchase lottery tickets. Not through mandatory taxation.


SLCUSD, please cut back on perks and extras, focus on needs rather than wants, and

live within your means. That’s what County taxpayers on fixed incomes must do.

You can and should do it, too!


achillesheal

The lottery is a tax on poor people – they just don’t realize it.


shelworth

Poor, and or stupid people, or maybe just people who never took a statistics/probability

class.


TaxMeAgain

Nope. It’s a tax on people bad in math.


SLOBIRD

Actually, it’s a tax on the working class as we pay taxes to give out more welfare and then the poor welfare get to spend our money.


I want to know when Jerry Brown, The Clintons, George Cloney, The Bushes, The Obama’s. etc. are going to start spreading their wealth. Oh yeah, just continue to send your checks to the Clinton Foundation for relief efforts in Haiti, remember the earthquake victims that Clinton was going to take care. Where he brought in 20 or so Katrina trailers that were substandard.


But the poooooooooor Clintons, Bill and Hilliary and Chelsea plus the political friends sit on the board for the foundation drawing big salaries and for being broke now have over $100 million but yes, they are poor compared to their friends. Maybe they have a little extra for San Luis Obispo!


MikeB

As November approaches consider these facts as you decide about voting for additional taxes and bond measures.


Atascadero has a history of misusing tax dollars.


As one example I point to Wade McKinney and his absconding with thousands of dollars of vacation leave that was accrued in violation of the city personnel rules.


After leaving the Council and discovering the problem I had alerted the City Council on multiple occasions but in essence they just sat on their hands and did nothing.


Just think of all the worthwhile projects that could have been supported by the $90,000+ that was spirited away by McKinney. Those dollars would have been better spent on youth sports programs or other worthwhile endeavors.


I also raise the issue of language in the city manager contract, that in my opinion were improper expenditures of tax paid dollars. A sterling example was a clause that allows the city to pay for the city managers membership dues and fines to service clubs.


I argued that the city manager salary was clearly sufficient and that they should pay their membership dues but the city attorney and council suggested this was standard practice and again the City Council sat on their hands and did nothing.


Now the city council wants us to trust them with a sales tax increase which they promise will be used on roadway repair. I wish I could believe them but their track record speaks for itself.


It is also important to remember that in 2010 Atascadero voted in a school bond of 117 million dollars but in November the board is asking us to authorize an accelerated payoff of the bond which will result in an increase in your property taxes.


Then consider the recent expensive mailer that Assessor Tom Bordonaro put out indicating that our property taxes will be going up by “more than 2%”


Wait a minute! Wasn’t one of the arguments for the 117 million dollar school bond based on the fact that property taxes had declined, yet now we learn they are going back up.


Keep in mind that I support our education system and schools but as taxpayers we are getting squeezed on every side.


Mike Brennler


PS: Please tell us Mr. Bordonaro …. What did it cost us for that spiffy mailer you sent to every property owner in the County, in an effort to justify the “more than 2%” increase in our property tax?


Mr. Holly

Buyer beware. Mr. Brennler is correct regarding the activities of Mr. McKinney. Although I

would like to comment that past city councils did avoid or overlook the unfunded vacation/sick leave issue that McKinney set up. But when Mr. Brennler brought it to the attention of new

council members Fonzi and Kelly at a meeting of the Financial Committee they did take action and initiated a review of what was going on. It was then discovered that the purported

$800,000 that was unfunded was actually close to &1,600,000 that McKinney had placed in

the Financial Report and not the Budget Report. Those items are now being funded through

budgeted money for positions that currently are not being filled until these payoffs are made. Some of those positions are like the Assistant City Manager, Parks and Recreation, a couple of vital positions in Public Works and others.

I believe that the current city council members will do their best to monitor these funds, if the

tax increase is approved, and direct them towards the much needed road repairs.


achillesheal

Remember voters, when you provide government with more revenue, that means you provide your family with less revenue.


pasoparent5

Unless a family member’s a city manager, city engineer, city attorney, etc… Then your family will provided with MORE revenue.


The revenue generated by these sales tax increases (like the one foolishly passed by Paso voters) goes right into the general fund. That $$ can be “intended” for roads but in reality the city can use it for anything–including lawsuit payouts AND, of course–bloated city salaries.


womanwhohasbeenthere

Don’t forget about the 1/2 cent sales tax the city of SLO also wants voters to approve. And Cuesta College is also considering a bond measure that will require more taxes. Better hold on to your wallets!


kayaknut

Welcome to the new California, a new tax here, a new tax there, here a tax, there a tax everywhere a tax tax………


How about a new thought, live within your budget as is, first.


NO to all new taxes….


pasoparent5

Yep. At the gas station last night I noticed the smaller stickers (barely noticeable unless you’re really looking) describing the taxes on gas. For every $4+/gallon of gas we’re buying, over 50 cents is for taxes! Ridiculous.


Our state is called Taxifornia for a good reason.


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