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.

Rich in MB

Actually the more I think about it, I’m happy this Tax Increase will be on the County Wide Ballot this November. It will help drive more Conservative Voters and Fed-up Independents to the Polls to vote it down and along the way vote OUT the Liberal Politicians that support it! Heck…I is a great voter turn out drive!


Sales tax measure will need 4/5 from Board of Supes in order to put it on the ballot. If Lynn and Deb stay strong it will not be put to the voters.

Skip Tracer

Arrest and Indict Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson.


Frank has turned into such a pos. Look at Tulare county. Same population, half the employees. We have idiots running this county. Time for pitchforks and hanging nooses and fire half the lame assed employees. Too high of wages and not enough production out of these leeches. Screw them all.


Wow Stand Up I did as you suggested and looked at Tulare County. Actually I’m pretty sure you are the POS. SLO County only has 2597 employees to Tulares 4003 and they already have a half cent sales tax.

Why would you lie and make stuff up? Does it make you feel good? I bet you can’t wait for the next thumbs up. OhLaLa. Someone liked my made up statistics. PATHETIC!!

Can you not use Google?

The public library has computers where you can type letters into the magic box and it will provide you with easily verifiable information.

I can give you a link to Zillow in case you need to move to Tulare County and Pay higher taxes for a lower quality of life.

Truly Yours



If only you could see our county system from the inside, your tune would change. The employees from the board down are laughing about what they get away with every day, which is little work for top pay and inflated benefits too.

Of course, they are quick to evade any blame of wrongdoing and I am surprised a resident of Los Osos would support them in their wrongdoing, especially when you flush your toilet…


“SLO County only has 2597 employees…” Interesting. Not via Google or Bing or Dogpile but directly from SLO County Human Resources earlier today, that number is right around 2,900.


From Transparent California:

San Luis Obispo 2015 Summary:

Total number of county employees 3,225

Total number of full-time… employees 2,481

Median pay for full-time… employees $67,791

Median pay and benefits… $88,477

Total county employee compensation $248,107,749

and from the Tulare County 2015 Summary:

Total number of county employees 4,721

Total number of full-time… employees 3,599

Median pay for full-time… employees $50,605

Median pay and benefits… $62,353

Total county employee compensation $274,781,559

Regardless of either of your nitpicking or how little or low-quality their work is, government employees are GROSSLY over-paid for essentially a ZERO-RISK / LIABILITY job. That is INSANE. Period.

Let’s be honest, they are working for the government because it is FAR LESS difficult and the pay and benefits are EXCEEDINGLY better than anything in the private sector, or that they could likely achieve on their own (entrepreneurial).

Cindy A

So, I am waiting for a group to organize so we can effectively vote down this ridiculous idea to increase taxes –

curiouser and curiouser

The Central Coast Taxpayers Association (CCTA) is on record opposing this proposed tax. Check out the website:

A coalition of organizations is forming. Stand by!

Jorge Estrada

I would predict this will not pass because of the obvious fraud and waste, Gov knows it won’t pass. What they are really after is the support from locally elected officials so that a taking can occur via the budget process. Other needed benefits of Gov will suffer due to the support by our elect representatives for these new expenses / taxes. Remember when you vote, the reps that supported Gov over you the taxpayer needs to find another job.

Mr. Holly

Buyer beware! This article states that all 7 incorporated “city councils have already approved the tax initiative”. I don’t think that this is an accurate statement. One can go to the city of Atascadero’s webpage and listen to the SLOCOG presentation on June 28th starting at 1:09 hrs. into the meeting. It was pointed out several times to the council by staff and the mayor, who sits on the SLOCOG Board, that they would not be voting for the initiative but only for the plan should the initiative be approved. Their city council approved the plan only and not the initiative, by a 3-2 vote with Fonzi and Kelly voting no. Carefully listen to the questions that both Fonzi and Kelly asked the director of SLOCOG.

The voters in SLO County need to really get involved with this and actually see where the money will be going. The big sales pitch is for roads but only 55% of the funds are designated for roads and basically can be spent by each jurisdiction as they see fit. How much of this will be for studies, studies and more studies to figure out that there will not be enough money left over to do anything. This is somewhat contrary to the idea of a majority vote which purpose is to identify exactly where the money is to be spent.

Thomas A

Fire Adam Hill.