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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achillesheal

One half percentage + one half percent = 1 percent. Next year they’ll go back to the well again, now that they’ve suckered people once and likely twice with the “it’s only 1/2 percentage, its nothing” scam.


It’s getting expensive for me to shop downtown. With the rents the businesses have to pay, the prices they need to charge to stay in business, and now all od the additional tax, do you think people are wondering whether amazon.com is a better alternative?


Government stupidity will crush downtown independent business within 15 years. Ever wonder why all the new businesses are big corporate chains? They can absorb the losses.


just the facts

Heard that the Central Coast Taxpayers Association (CCTA) is opposed to the Self Help County Tax Proposal. I checked out the organization’s website and found the letter to SLOCOG opposing the sales tax: http://www.centralcoasttaxfighters.org


The CCTA letter gives several reasons why one should be opposed to this scam. 1) Governor and Legislature did not make transportation funding a priority. 2) Governor and Legislature are feeding the bullet train boondoggle to the tune of billions which could instead go to our roads. 3) Governor and Legislature are not reining in the bloated bureaucracy of Caltrans. 4) Caltrans mitigation $$ go to projects such as planting acorns/oak trees in a drought and taxpayers pay over 1 million dollars to plant and water them. 5) The State ‘has stolen’ our transportation $$.


I agree with CCTA. It is total scam. Just say NO! And tell those candidates running for state office positions such as the Senate and Assembly that you want your transportation $$ back. Enough!


r0y

Old Roy’s Rule of Thumb: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS vote NO NO NO on any and all spending increases, tax increases, bonds, program increases, etc.


NEVER give them another DIME, they have PLENTY of our dimes. In fact, they have more dimes of ours than we have, thus the multi-generational indebtedness that is the evil of centralized banking loaning our country our own currency at interest.


horse_soldier

Gimme, gimme, gimme.

It never ends.

Why are we to believe that THIS time the money will be spent as proposed? When does that actually happen?


TaxMeAgain

The title is a bit misleading. “SLO County Supervisors endorse sales tax hike” should really read “SLO County Supervisors approve a vote on sales tax hike.”


r0y

Why stop at just 8% / 8.5%? Why not just ask for 15% or 20%?


Perspicacious

Perfect reason to vote for John Peschong for first district supervisor. During the candidates forum a week or so ago he was the only one who was opposed to the sales tax hike. John Hamon said, “People didn’t even notice the last 1/2% increase” in support of raising taxes. That is exactly what we DON’T need, a politician taking advantage of the public because they “won’t notice”. What a shyster!


mkaney

Obviously I want their hands out of my pocket and I would like them to find the money by reducing county salaries. However, the state put us between a rock and a hard place on this one. Normally, we get some of our tax money back to the state for the purpose of transportation. However, since they are building this stupid high speed rail, they changed up the game. Now, they will simply MATCH what we allocate locally. So we’re being tricked into allocating more in the budget locally in order to get our own tax money back.


I’m not saying this to support the sales tax, just pointing this detail out.


smile4thecamera

The Bob Jones bike trail seems fine the way it is. They always say they are going to fix the roads and yet…. it never happens. I will be voting NO.