SLO County supervisors vote for sales tax initiative

July 13, 2016

slo county signDespite opposition from San Luis Obispo County supervisors Debbie Arnold and Lynn Compton, a countywide transportation tax is heading full speed ahead toward the November ballot. The proposed ballot measure calls for a half-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects and reduce traffic congestion. [Tribune]

The proposed tax would last nine years and raise approximately $25 million annually. Of the funds raised, 55 percent 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 tax initiative in order for it to pass.

On Tuesday, the SLO County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to approve the text of the ballot measure. Supervisors Bruce Gibson, Adam Hill and Frank Mecham voted in favor of putting the tax measure on the ballot, while Arnold and Compton cast the dissenting votes.

Arnold and Compton said they do not want to burden county residents with any more taxes. Compton said the transportation tax would be regressive and hurt poor people more than the rich because everyone pays sales tax. Compton also said the tax would create a transportation slush fund.

Mecham said he would not deny anyone the vote on the initiative and that county voters are being given the opportunity to make a choice.

More than a dozen people spoke about the tax initiative during public comment, mostly in opposition to the ballot measure. Opponents said Sacramento has mismanaged transportation funding. Some speakers called the tax a scam, a ponzi scheme and blackmail by Sacramento.

Supporters of the tax who spoke during public comment included a representative of a county bicycling group, who said she appreciates tax money would go toward bike and pedestrian trails.

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

All seven city councils in the county have already approved the tax initiative. The proposed ballot measure will appear before SLOCOG on Wednesday and return to the board of supervisors for final approval next week.

If voters approve the ballot measure, the sales tax rate would increase to 8 percent in unincorporated areas of the county and 8.5 percent in the cities.


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Pelican1

Simply vote NO. Stop these vultures from feathering their nests.


Ron

Lemme see if I have this straight:


As I first exposed at this link (and others):


http://sewerwatch.blogspot.com/2010/09/single-handedly-terminating-slo-county.html


… about four years ago, the SLO County Board of Supervisors — including Supervisors Hill and Gibson — vote to throw tens of millions of county tax dollars at a brand new, massive, and completely unneeded women’s jail facility, in order to relieve a small amount (on average) of overcrowding at the existing facility, without ever discussing alternatives to the new jail, like adding low-cost modular units (which the Sheriff’s Dept. added shortly after the vote for the new jail), low-cost SB 959-style programs (mandatory home detention), or even just a much cheaper remodel of the existing facility, among many, many other alternatives.


Then, just four short years after Supervisors Hill and Gibson vote for the completely unneeded, yet very expensive, new jail, they now vote to put a 1/2 cent sales tax increase measure on the ballot to raise some “$25 million” so there’s enough money in county coffers for things like “filling potholes?”


Uh, memo to Supervisors Hill and Gibson: How’s this for an idea? If there’s not enough cash in the budget to fill potholes because you two, instead, voted to fund a completely unneeded — yet very expensive — new jail, I recommend scooping some asphalt out of the gigantic pile needed for the new jail’s parking lot, and using that.


Whada joke.


Rich in MB

Will they EVER have enough?

How much more blood do we have to give so the Government workers can have better pay, benefits, and pensions than the Tax Payers who are struggling?


There is a war on the middle and working class families in this County and it’s time to fight back!


Mariposa

SLO County Human Resources says there are about 2,900 people employed by the County. We must assume that ALL (or 99.9%) of these individuals will vote in favor of more taxation since that would ensure each one more take-home pay. When you come up with a good, clear method for “fighting back,” please post it here so those of us who want to fight, CAN!


Perspicacious

I have no faith whatsoever in the idiot voters of this county voting down this robbery. Measure A ring a bell?


Perspicacious

“The proposed tax would last nine years”


ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!GUFFAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


“Supporters of the tax who spoke during public comment included a representative of a county bicycling group, who said she appreciates tax money would go toward bike and pedestrian trails”


Would you support an extra tax on bicycles and bike parts?


the situation

Thank you for pointing out that this would be a half percent tax raise from 8 to 8.5%, that is actually a 6% increase in sales tax!!! I love how the Fibune and these other tax loving entities report it as a “half-cent raise” in order to lessen the real sticker shock involved here. Oh yeah, Gibson, Hill, and Meecham, thanks a lot! Fire Adam Hill


NorthCountyGuy

No!!! and hell no!!!


The career-politicians responsible for fraud, waste and abuse of our tax dollars need to be serving hard time in prison.


TWEEKSBALMER

Just vote no they will squander the money.


Mitch C

Vote NO! Have you ever know a government agency that had enough money? This tax will not be the last effort to have the county/cities put their hand in our pockets. With Diablo closing the money scramble will be more fierce than ever. Time to cut government by a third or in half. We don’t need anywhere near the amount of government we pay for.


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