SLO County seeking sales tax increase

April 11, 2016

ca_trafficSan Luis Obispo County officials have endorsed a half-cent sales tax initiative that may appear on the November ballot. The aim of the sales tax measure is too reduce traffic congestion. [Tribune]

Last week, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments board voted 10-1 in favor of the tax increase. County Supervisor Debbie Arnold cast the lone dissenting vote. Supervisor Lynn Compton was absent for the vote.

The tax proposal would last nine years and raise approximately $25 million annually. Two thirds of voters would have to support the initiative in order for it to pass.

Ron De Carli, executive director of SLOCOG, said the agency is at a fiscal cliff because of low gas prices. State and federal transportation funding have decreased significantly in recent years because of low gas prices and the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient cars.

County officials say a new source of revenue is needed to reduce traffic congestion.

Congestion has long been a problem at rush hour on Highway 101 at the Shell Beach Straights. Alternative routes on Highway 227, Prado Road and Los Osos Valley Road are becoming backed up as well.

If the tax were to pass, the revenue would go toward widening roads, but also fixing potholes, improving bridge safety and improving bike paths, like the Bob Jones trail.

In order for the tax measure to qualify for the ballot, it must be approved by a majority of San Luis Obispo County cities and the county board of supervisors. SLOCOG officials say telephone polling currently puts support for the tax in the mid-60 percent range.

Jorge Estrada

I’m going to Mexico to tell Mexican jokes before I accept the political correctness in new taxes. Don’t blame lower gas prices in a state that does a volume business and largely funds their youthful Gov retires. Then there is Tesla, who is going to sell a fleet of vehicles that use our roads and pay no gas road taxes.


Largess for the organized-crime thugs in charge of the public sector unions.


The American dollar devaluation (inflation) is caused by all levels of government!


Another scam brought to you by the people who waste taxpayer money on padding their own pockets and then when we ask why are the roads in such bad shape they tell us they just don’t have enough money. Vote NO or put a big L on your forehead!


Ok, this is how it’s going to work. The county and cities will stop maintaining the roads and they will change the traffic light timing and make traffic worse. They will create problems just to get their precious tax passed. That’s what Paso Robles did to get their tax passed.we are reaching a tipping point and we need to stop electing professional politicians. Debbie Arnold gets it and so does these candidates even if they are not in your district.


You guys are in a pickle – SLO has no good employment nor economic prospects other than the Government. So you can lay people off, but they’ll just sit on welfare up in Atascadero or Los Osos.

That would shift the money burden up line I suppose, so the county tax payer wouldn’t notice. Except for the signs everywhere of a declining society, which one could argue has already occurred here in this part of CA.

Just wait til that new min wage kicks in around here – talk about a hard hit. And then Diablo will soon be gone.. yikes..


No thanks. I already pay property taxes to fix roads in Grover Beach. They throw metal plates down, leave potholes in the roads that need fixing, and have basically cost residents thousands in car repairs.

I say tax the morons who approved every SLO city store in a two block road. That was SOUPER-SMART.

And I when do taxes expire? Like it would really go away in 9 years LOL…..


SLO is a perfect example of enough is never enough! All the new stores on Los Osos Valley Road (Costco, Staples, Old Navy, Home Depot, Home Goods, Pet Mart, TJMax, Whole Foods (partial as it was an old existing store on Foothill), Bev More, Target, Dick’s, plus all the new homes (property tax) etc bring in millions of sales tax dollars and property tax revenue. Is this enough, hell no, they need because the trough is never full enough. Already the City employees with their wonderful salaries, benefits, healthcare, etc. have just gotten raises, business at the City has gone back to normal spending pre-recession and they need more, and more, more. VOTE NO FOR THE COUNTY as they get a share of this new revenue too!

Everything you want to know about California Sales Tax by our own Retired SLO City Finance Director, Bill Statler, from a 1997 article he wrote for the League of California Monthly Magazine (this will make your stomach turn).

Downtown Bob

Let’s create a bike license program, and have the bike self fund they paths and use the gas tax and other fees as they were intended: for road maintainance and improvements.

This tax increase has nothing to do with US 101 through Pismo Beach. Don’t we actually spend a chunk of change trying to cause traffic here anyways by attract tourists?

Lastly, how in the world do they figure gas prices have been low in recent years? Since the fall of last year, yes they have creeped down, but overall I remember record setting fuel prices within the last 5 years.


No reasonable fee for a bike license would be sufficient to fund bike paths. There simply aren’t enough bikes in use to generate what is needed.


Yea, but my car registration also didn’t cost $300 a year and now they are proposing another $60 fee. Every adult size bike sold in California should have a $100 registration fee and then an annual renewal of $25 unless the bike is under a certain size for youth. You want to ride you pay, I want to drive I pay!


Is this going to require more public sector employees to track, cite, issue and verify registration?

If so, adding yet another layer to the already bloated bureaucracy will get us nowhere.


‘Widening’ roads won’t work. It just won’t. There are numerous cities across the US that have played this game. Anyone driven through SB recently? What a mess. It never ends.