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.


I went to SLO High in the 70’s. It was an outstanding facility then and remains so now. It has had many upgrades and new buildings added. Enrollment has remained steady. SLCUSD is one of the wealthiest districts in the state and pays some of the highest salaries. We do not need to do this just to do it “for the children”.




Time for some re-education for you! How dare you be against something “for the children.”

Your training is waning.


” Funds raised from the tax, though, are not guaranteed to go to road repair. ” That makes the choice of a NO vote really easy. Govt already takes about 1/3 of my income. I don’t need to pay more taxes into some politician’s slush fund.


” The Power To Tax, Is The Power To Destroy ”

“Currently the average wealth for working families in the United States is 43% lower than before the 2007 recession, and 36% Lower Than A Decade Ago.”- Russell Sage Foundation.

The real question becomes, What are our cities and district elected represenatives thinking ?

Register-Vote- Inform- Change


The real question is:

What where voters thinking when they voted twice for Bush / Cheney which started the whole mess we’re barely climbing out of? Cost us a bunch in lives, taxes, recession, ad nausaem…

Don’t blame the people YOU chose to elect, re-elect, who got us into the quagmire we’re still struggling with today.

BTW – That includes Guantanamo on legal and moral issues.

How soon, conveniently, we forget…


Probably the same thing they were thinking when electing Obama twice. Talk about going from BAD (bush) to WORSE (obama). I agree, people are not really smart when it comes to voting.


The tax man’s taken all my dough,

And left me in my stately home,

Lazing on a sunny afternoon.

And I can’t sail my yacht,

He’s taken everything I’ve got,

All I’ve got’s this sunny afternoon.

Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze.

I got a big fat mama trying to break me.

And I love to live so pleasantly,

Live this life of luxury,

Lazing on a sunny afternoon.

In the summertime

In the summertime

In the summertime


What about all the gasoline taxes? Both Atascadero and Grover Beach want sales tax increases promising to fix the roads. Where are all the gasoline tax $$$$ going? We all know that we are paying an arm and leg for gasoline and much of that is for tax so I asked again where is the money that the city receives in gasoline tax going????


Two words…. General Fund…… and then salaries, benefits and pensions……


That is another heavy, heavy tax on property owners for a Government educational system

that wastes money by the bucket full with our children still under educated and teachers

under paid.


“…with our children still under educated and teachers

under paid.” Really, “under paid”? 167/6 hour average workdays a year – underpaid with an average salary of $73,000 plus benefits and a glorious retirement benefit! Really?????


You had me… then lost me at underpaid teachers. True, if one compares the excessively bloated administration salaries and benefits package to a teacher’s, then it may seem underpaid.

However, compared to national averages and such (apples-to-apples) and counting the time working, I do not think they are underpaid at all. Over-worked? Perhaps. Ironic, considering the stagnant performance of our schools (even when the standards are lowered and watered down, we still have flat line performance).


Gas tax is by the gallon not the dollar and revenue has gone down with reduced demand, higher fuel efficiency and plug-in hybrid and electric cars. Don’t worry, there is absolutely no way in hell that I would expect you to know that.


The similarities between this $177M bond initiative and Cuesta College’s failed $310M bond measure of 2006 are eerily similar.

As someone else pointed out it equates to nearly $60M per school or $22K/student (presuming the projected increase in attendance is actually realized.)

The more I think about it, the more insulted I am that the school district would even ask for $177M using the thoroughly embarrassing wishlist it did. Do they honestly believe the taxpayers are obtuse and unable to think about the initiative in a critical manner?

If the district already ran a tight ship and wanted to float a bond for a reasonable amount of money to tackle some legitimate capital projects (SLOHS’ old gym apparently needs a new boiler for instance), that would be fine with me. But paying about $400/year (in my case) for the next 30 years to fund this wet dream? Absolutely no way.

I’m voting no.


You can vote NO, SamLouis but the stupid things will pass. There will be about 58% support from two groups, those on the “take” from free public goodies, and those who will “buy into” the lovely TV spots, you know, with quick TV shots of some loose door or bad facility interposed with lovely shots of smiling kids in gold-plated school rooms. Your only hope is a costly campaign trying to awake an often brain-dead electorate.

I swear, our electorate is such a disappointment. I believe we could get child molestation legalized if we could have enough polished TV spots for, say, “Measure M” (for molestation), with a firefighter or handsome school teacher holding up a little girl to a water fountain. The announcer would say “vote this crucial vote to protect our kids”. “Yes on M”. A handsome actor in a firefighter uniform would smile becomingly, and the illiterate electorate would pass “M” by a wide margin. Union and education interests used polished ads to get our brilliant California electorate to PERMANENTLY reduce from 66% to 55% the vote requirement for school bonds. Look at Taj Mahal schools springing up in southern California but with deplorable test scores. Homeowners saddled for 30 years with bond debt and service.

I wish you success in your quest to educate your fellow SLOian against these taxes.


I’m not at all sure it will pass. It needs 55% Cuesta’s bond measure was a foregone conclusion it seemed until it failed. We’ll see…


With the economic stress on families, fixed income seniors, working poor, I believe voters do not have the funds to support these tax increases.

After watching the Police Tax and Fire Tax go down to major defeats this year, Voters are standing up against all these New Tax Increases.

Vote No- Then support new candidates that will provide Tax Relief.

Register-Vote- Inform


California has a spending problem.

The greedy union thugs of the public-sector unions (including the teachers unions) are bankrupting the economy and the taxpayers of California.

Irresponsible, out-of-control bureaucrats (and the greedy thugs of their public-sector unions) need to be accountable to the taxpayers.

Raising taxes will not fix the problem.

Government needs to be downsized, not upsized.


Many years ago when the school district’s offices were located on San Luis Drive, someone launched a plan to purchase a modular building in which to hold school board meetings. The cost of the modular building was projected to be between $200K and $250K. (I’m sure the actual priced ended-up being far more.)

The justification for buying the building (rather than using SLOHS’s close by and rather nice lecture hall) were laughable, insulting and ultimately obscene. They boiled down to a labor saving from not having to lug an overhead projector, paper handouts and a coffee urn (and fixins) 500′ up to the school’s lecture hall each month! (This is part of the school board’s meeting minutes archive.)

The school board approved the purchase! The modular building was bought, installed and used for perhaps a year, possibly two. Then it was disassembled and placed into “storage” when the offices moved to the old junior high campus. Someone should have been fired — then again the school board itself approved the purchase. I wonder if the building was ever reused?

That saga demonstrated clearly to me at the outright incompetence of the SLO Unified School District when it comes to facilities/operations management. It hasn’t improved in the last several year — it has gotten worse.

No new taxes.


Even with the increases in enrollment projected, this is over $22,000 PER STUDENT and that is BEFORE INTEREST.

We are talking about upgrading only three High Schools. More bonds will follow when deplorable conditions are identified in the middle and grade schools.

Nearly $60,000,000 per SCHOOL is enough to BUILD a school. This is just way too much money.

Maintain what you have and don’t let it degrade. Schools out east are over 100 years old and they look great. They have character.

Too much tax and spend. Again.


I totally agree! These are tough economic times for all of us and we all are trying to live within our means. None of us need any more drain on our home budget. This school list is like a wish list when someone dreams of winning the lottery! If parents wish all the fancy bells and whistles for their student children…then get going on fund raising for your pet wish! Cayucos is an example of on going fund raising for their pier project. Sure repairs need to be done….but NOT state of the art tracks, pool facilities, and all. Great educations can be attained without fancy facilities.


As someone long involved in the budgeting process, I found SLO High School’s “long list of needs” (see ) to be offensive. It smacked of administrators/educators creating a list of not what is truly needed, but a wasteful wishlist designed to inflate the bond initiative to $177M. In many ways it reminds me of Cuesta College’s failed $310M bond measure of 2006.

They want a new cafeteria and kitchen? Why did they close the old one? Why not reopen it? They want an expanded music building? Again, why did they close the old ones? They want an all-weather track? Absolutely not. Raise the money if you want such a luxury.

You want a “canopy” added to the school’s auto shop? Why? It’s done just fine without one for over 30 years. You want a “pool complex?” First explain to us why you razed rather than renovated Nuss Pool? Then explain the difference between a pool and a “pool complex.” Like the track, this is the sort of thing that money should be raised (as was the case with the original Nuss Pool) and not financed through a bond flot.

You want a “varsity baseball and softball stadium.” Why? Sufficient seating at games certainly isn’t an issue. You already have a couple of fine fields. Give the city a few bucks and upgrade the stadiums off Laurel Lane if you feel your student athletes need to play in a “stadium.”

You also want to build a “STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) complex.” Such hyperbole! SLOHS already has enviable classroom, laboratory and shop facilities. Create your steam thing using existing facilities.

You also mention “a wood shop that doesn’t have any insulation.” That shop has been in use without insulation longer than the school itself. It dates from the 1950’s and it’s a good shop. Why is it in issue now?

You also want to move SLOHS’s administration offices “closer to the front of the campus” to reduce the distance visitors have to walk. After 40+ years of doing just fine in its current location, it’s remarkable that “Anthony Palazzo, the district’s director of facilities, operations and transportation” would even dare to make such a suggestion.

Perhaps SLOCUSD needs a new “director of facilities, operations and transportation”? What it most certainly needs is a realistic facilities audit and plan, and not a bloated high dollar list of unneeded bull manure.

I’m voting “no.”


Absolutely well said!!!


Actually, don’t ask Anthony anything, because he is so incompetent that he has to contract a person to come in and supervisor all his construction jobs. This person has set up an office in the school library and lives there for $300 plus dollars an hours to make sure Anthony’s jobs go well. Just look at the money the contractor got for the Morro, Los Osos and SLO High solar project (and the person was inexperience). Fortunately for the school district the expense was paid by the solar vendor so they could get the bid through. Atascadero is upgrading all their schools without an overseer and saves $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ because the facility manager knows how.

The projects listed by SamLouis are absolutely applauding and the school board should be replaced for even presenting this bond to the people of San Luis Obispo. What the hell is the matter with these people. Take away their 3 figure salaries and then ask them to contribute out of their paychecks 10% and you will see them change their tone. These people are nuts but then again they are government employees, a desired qualification for sure.