SLO County Supervisors endorse sales tax hike

April 20, 2016

slo county signThe San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has given initial support toward placing a countywide half-cent sales tax on the November ballot. The tax initiative is intended to fund transportation projects and reduce traffic congestion.

On Tuesday, the board of supervisors voted 3-2 to instruct the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) to make preparations for the sales tax initiative. Supervisors Bruce Gibson, Adam Hill and Frank Mecham voted in favor of placing the tax on the ballot, while supervisors Debbie Arnold and Lynn Compton cast the dissenting votes.

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.

Proponents of the tax have said state and federal transportation funding has decreased significantly in recent years. SLOCOG officials say the agency is at a fiscal cliff because of low gas prices and the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient cars.

Supervisor Arnold voted against the tax noting Caltrans has been under fire for financial mismanagement and poor budgeting. California generates among the highest revenues for roads, though it has some of the nation’s worst road conditions.

An audit last year by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office found that Caltrans was overstaffed by roughly 3,500 employees at a cost of about $500 million a year.

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. Local officials may use some of the funds in attempt to reduce traffic on Highway 101 at the Shell Beach Straights.

All seven cities in the county already have half-cent sales taxes in place. A large portion of the funds raised from those taxes are supposed to go toward infrastructure improvements.

Arnold has said the county finished last year with a budget surplus, and it should spend some of the extra funds on road improvements instead of raising the sales tax.

If the countywide tax were to pass, the sales tax rate would increase to 8 percent in unincorporated areas and 8.5 percent in the cities.


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hijinks

One would be tempted to assume this will fail miserably, but by mentioning bike paths they’ve dropped a veil of mind fog that’s likely to get a lot of happy thoughtless people on board. Pretty clever, supes.


r0y

It’s really simple, and a past CCN op ed by Richard Schmidt so eloquently pointed out, all that they do is hire an out-of-town firm to poll us repeatedly until they get the proper buzzwords, then use said buzzwords over and over; create phony “citizen groups” that support the increase, etc. and voila! The dopes are duped once again.


Never underestimate the stupidity of the voter.


Jorge Estrada

Supervisor Arnold and Compton got it right. They are representing the publics best interest by not enabling more waste of our tax dollars. Local Control is best when we can say No to assuming other agency liabilities. Sadly we have leadership that does not care about who elected for them and it shows every they vote Yes and the public votes NO. So now we get to spend more money on this expensive process, thence a public vote..


Pelican1

…And this is how they fund the fraud.


tomsquawk

“SLOCOG officials say the agency is at a fiscal cliff because of low gas prices and the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient cars.”


I think the State swapped the gas tax for increasing the excise tax a couple of years back. Who knows what rat hole that money went down.


I just vote no on everything


hijinks

Since the gas tax is per gallon, lower prices aren’t an issue. But conservation due to Priuses and Leafs? Does this start to sound familiar? We use less water and conserve,like they want us to, then they raise water rates to keep the revenue coming in. Now the same logic for a sales tax to boost revenues lost due to gas conservation. There’s got to be a break in this sort of stuff. Raise the gas tax so those who use the roads pay for them, not the sales tax so those who have to buy PeptoBismol to deal with this stuff pick up the road tax tab.


What’s lacking in government today is any sense of fairness.


NorthCountyGuy

Yet another subsidy for the fraud, waste and abuse of corruption-riddled government.


Yet another subsidy for the greedy, organized-crime thugs of the public-sector unions.


isoslo

This is all about the growth of government. Every tax increase is wanted because the government continues to grant raises and perks to every employee every chance they get. If you care about the future of our country tell them no you have enough money just start managing it properly.


Rambunctious

The tax initiative is intended to fund transportation projects and reduce traffic congestion.


https://youtu.be/iYVO5bUFww0


SloTownMan

No way Jose! Joe either


Rich in MB

Water is Wet

Fire is hot

The SLO Sups support a Tax hike to pay for all their buddies pensions and perks.


Folks…they have plenty of money, they just don’t want to slow/stop the growth in Government.


We need to fight this Tax hike that will only hurt the working class and poor the most.


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