SLO County supervisors put sales tax on the ballot

July 20, 2016
Adam Hill

Adam Hill

UPDATE: Video of the confrontation between supervisors Adam Hill and Lynn Compton at the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisor meeting on July 19 at the bottom of the article.

ORIGINAL: Following a brief argument between supervisors Adam Hill and Lynn Compton, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted for a final time on a countywide transportation tax. The half-cent sales tax initiative will now appear on the November ballot.

As it did one week ago, the board voted 3-2 on Tuesday to place the tax measure on the ballot. Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Frank Mecham joined Hill in voting in favor of placing the initiative on the ballot. Compton and Supervisor Debbie Arnold cast the dissenting votes.

The proposed tax would last nine years and raise approximately $25 million annually for transportation projects and traffic reduction efforts. Fifty-five percent of the funds raised is supposed to go to local agencies for transportation projects; 25 percent is supposed to be used to reduce traffic on major roadways and highways; and 20 percent is supposed to be spent on countywide transportation projects, including improvements to bike and pedestrian paths.

Two thirds of county voters would have to support the initiative in order for it to pass.

Proponents of the tax argued that our infrastructure is failing and we cannot count on Sacramento.

Opponents of questioned the $400,000 to $600,000 cost of bringing the new sales tax measure to the voters, money they said could be spent on roads, and that Sacramento should be held accountable for managing transportation funding.

Before Tuesday’s votes, Hill attacked two critics of the tax measure: former Congresswoman Andrea Seastrand and Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (COLAB) spokesman Mike Brown. Hill said it was ironic they were opposing the tax because Seastrand served as the head of the California Space Authority, which spent taxpayer money, and Brown headed the Santa Barbara County government, which had its own sales tax.

Compton responded by saying it is inappropriate for Hill to attack members of the audience who take time out of their day to speak before the board.Supervisor Lynn Compton

“I think it’s completely inappropriate, and I am going to call for you not to do that anymore,” Compton said.

Hill shot back at Compton, calling her a hypocrite while she was still speaking.

“You don’t ever say anything when people personally attack me or Supervisor Gibson,” Hill said.

Hill has argued repeatedly with Compton and Arnold over the tax measure. Hill has said voters should have a say on the matter, and the county needs the tax revenue because the state and federal governments have cut transportation funding.

Arnold and Compton have said they do not want to burden county residents with any more taxes. They have also said the state should not be rewarded for mismanaging transportation funding.

Mecham, who has at times been the swing vote on the board, took the position that the voters should decide on whether or not the county adopts a transportation tax. Critics have called Mecham’s position a cop-out.

“The very fundamental, basic thing for me is the democratic way of doing things where you let people make their choice,” Mecham said. “I don’t find that to be a cop-out. I find that to be democracy.”

All seven city councils in the county have already approved the tax initiative. The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, the agency that initially called for the initiative, has also approved the tax measure.

If voters approve the measure, the sales tax rate would increase to 8 percent in unincorporated areas of the county and to 8.5 percent in the cities. Each of the cities already have their own half-cent sales taxes.

Jim Anderson

Fire Adam Hill in November if law enforcement doesn’t first.

Mr. Holly

This is one of the bigger scams being pulled on the local taxpayers. First of all not all of the seven incorporated cities approved the initiative some only approved “the plan”.

This is a diversionary tactic being pulled off by SLOCOG which has lost most of their funding. If you actually look at where the money is suggested to be spent a lot of it will go thru SLOCOG for studies etc.. It has been my belief that when there is a majority tax initiative that the voters are to know where exactly their money is going. This initiative is wide open and the money will be spent which ever way the government entities decide. Why should local governments take on the responsibility to address major problems on highways (aka freeways)? Sad to say this will require hiring more people, usually with huge benefits, to decide how to spend whatever money is left over.

Have you ever heard any politician say no to getting more of your money? Fortunately there are a handful that have said no. Arnold & Compton, Kelly and Fonzi in Atascadero and Dan Carpenter, excuse me if I forgot anyone else.

This is only the beginning of the fleecing of the taxpayers money. Next will be significant increases in vehicle registration fees and then there already a study to additionally tax you on mileage driven,

With Diablo Canyon now scheduled to close local governments and school districts are also figuring out how to get into the taxpayers wallet with additional fees and bonds.

Time for everyone to stand up and say NO enough is enough.




“Proponents of the tax argued that our infrastructure is failing and we cannot count on Sacramento”

If you ask the voters, we say WE can’t count on YOU! You head up the Failing i infrastructure and therefore YOU are to blame…not the hard working taxpayers of this county..


Frank Mecham, the supervision that keeps screwing the citizens of his district. Thank gawd he will be gone in November, although it is not soon enough.

This jerk has become a Democrat for sure, vote for every tax, fee increase, plastic bag band, etc. Most dishonest politician in the North County, Adam Hill in South County, Gibson Coastal!


For some reason, residents will think it is only 9 years but 9 years is a magic number in politics, they know they can come back to the people after 9 years and get in voted in again.

Why in the heck no one tried to fight this is insane. And larger counties already have passed similar bills. So now we are between and rock and a bigger rock.

Let’s not forget the schools once again want more of our money too. And then as Diablo starts shutting down the schools will want more money again. I don’t know who is worse the politicians or the schools for wasting OUR hard earn money.


Quit giving these bozos money, VOTE NO.


Good idea to bypass the dysfunctional SLO county government. Let the people decide.

Rich in MB

Ok folks…it’s time to organize a NO On the Tax Increase Group…we have to fight and defeat this for the good of the Working families in SLO County! I’m ready to fight on this one! A Tax increase that will just help pay for salaries and retirement pensions…folks this is outrageous.

Rich in MB

Do we know yet the Tax Increase Measure Letter?


O for outrageous?

R for rip-off?

C for crazy?

I for insane?

P for punitive?

N for never ending?

The options are endless.

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