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.


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Rambunctious

I can’t help it…I see his face and I think munchkin land. I think it’s time to replace his grumpy self with someone that understands the way our government is supposed to operate.


kayaknut

The sad news is giving the # of voters in the last election around 48%, and since this needs 2/3 to pass, it will really only take 1/3 of possible voters to pass this and given the number of voters feeding at the public trough and that they wouldn’t want to do anything to upset that, this has a chance of passing.


smile4thecamera

I see that Adam Hill took his daily dose of grumpy pills.


Mariposa

In reality, ADAM HILL OD’ed in 2009 after taking the entire “grumpy pill” prescription in one gulp. The ongoing side effects are stunningly repulsive! Let’s make sure he doesn’t get a “refill” on that prescription by VOTING FOR DAN CARPENTER in November!!!


ratherbefishing

No, never!


NorthCountyGuy

This is just another bail-out for the greedy, organized-crime bosses of the public-sector unions.


Get rid of the greedy, public-sector unions and the problem will go away.


Get rid of fraud, waste and abuse of our tax dollars.


hijinks

No, you’ve got it wrong. The public unions get none of this, it goes to private contractors who will do the work. It’s all for the construction unions. You know, public-private initiatives. Public pays, contractors get the money. Boo, hiss.


just the facts

Adam Hill forgot all about the civil discourse pledge he promoted at board meetings not so long ago. If I remember correctly, tax dollars were spent on League of Women Voters’ materials and buttons supporting the issue of civil discourse. In fact, the League made presentations at different government entities also.


But Adam will be Adam, and he will continue lashing out from the dais when he disagrees with constituents making public comment before the board. He is what he is! He never changes! He is a bully!


Vote NO on the 1/2% sales tax measure also! And vote YES for Dan Carpenter for Supervisor November 8.


Mariposa

ADAM HILL → Bully is as Bully does!


Jorge Estrada

Let the voters decide is a sorry excuse for this discussion. The discussion is about the State’s decision to withhold monies generated through previous promises to the tax payers and promote the bull crap term “Self Help” as a cover. There is so much waste and misappropriation of existing taxes that the passage for more taxes to fund previous promises will absolutely not be supported by the voters. Yes there has been a sell job funded by the tax payers and all kinds of promises charted for the next nine years but this only exemplifies the wastes we fund. The REAL VOTE that has already happened is the support of elected officials that hosted a majority vote for the idea of this new fleecing. With that representation for the people by the people, monies will eventually be extracted from various local budget’s only to leave the shortfall on other programs for the needy, resulting in a voter supported initiative that will promote a different tax and so on.


When the Board promotes a new tax for the voters to decide on, you can bet that they do not want to be responsible for it.


beacon of light

Heard the President of the Central Coast Taxpayers Association (CCTA), Andrea Seastrand, say at yesterday’s board meeting that the organization will encourage the “forgotten taxpayers” to oppose the sales tax measure in November. I am going to watch the CCTA website for perhaps more info re an organized fight and defeat this: http://www.cctaxfighters.org


r0y

Not to sidetrack, but I quickly read your handle and thought it said Bacon of Light. I had a good chuckle at that.


beacon of light

Glad you had a good chuckle! We need more chuckles and smiles!


Pelican1

Just say NO and prove to these these low level bureaucrats that we are not Lemmings


Leigh

As we Paso Basin overliers did with respect to the proposed Water District the county wanted to force on us!