A 1/2 cent or a 1/2 percent sales tax?

September 3, 2016
Laura Mordaunt

Laura Mordaunt


Words used in the San Luis Obispo County Measure J-16 on the Nov. 8 ballot will mislead voters by stating a ½ cent sales tax instead of what it truly is ½ percent sales tax increase. When propaganda and swaying the voter is your goal you use words like penny-cent instead of a multiplier that is a percentage.

Most voters understand that Sacramento has taken our sales based and other tax type dollars and chosen not to send them back to our county to fix roads and infrastructures that they are mandated to fix. San Luis Obispo Council of Government’s survey, paid by your tax dollars, revealed that an increase in ½ percent countywide sales tax would fail to achieve the ⅔ votes needed in an election.

So they played and played until our city councils and special interests groups got compensated (bought off) resulting in local government support for this measure to be placed on the November ballot.

Don’t be fooled or played by our county government or special interests supporting this new tax as there is no guarantee that your roads will ever be fixed. Other past tax dollars earmarked for roads did not return as promised.

This chart has been provided for those that may have been confused about the meaning of ½ cent versus ½ percent that county government chose for the verbiage of the ballot measure. The ballot measure should not have been allowed to use ½ cent as it is very misleading. Words do matter. Vote NO on Measure J-16.

Note: There is a correction on the following graph.

New tax

Laura Mordaunt resides in San Luis Obispo. She is a former aerospace systems engineer with a degree in Mathematics from San Jose State University.



  1. kayaknut says:

    So this groups only wants a 1/2%, next the school district only wants a 1/2%, then the water district only wants a few more cents, garbage a few more pennies, that little bond measure will only add a few dollars to your property taxes, PG&E is only raising your electric rates a few cents a kwh, and on and on and on, and before your know those few cents turned into a several hundred dollars. Then the next election and a whole new set of little raises, it is never enough, but it needs to be.

    (15) 21 Total Votes - 18 up - 3 down
    • RawHoney says:

      Yes It Will Never Be Enough!

      If you are government you never have to balance your check book just take more money from the forgotten taxpayer.

      Take Take Take

      Stop this and then support your new board majority to get the underlying problems fixed.

      To fix those there are some people that have to go….fresh eyes and honest approach is sorely needed.

      A budget should have a fixed limit for spending not open ended like this Measure J suggests.

      Vote NO on Measure J

      (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
  2. mbfog says:

    That’s the best argument you have against the tax, is that 1/2% is equal to the same thing as a half cent??? Really?
    You failed to mention that approximately half of the money that will be generated will come from tourists and people passing through the county, so it could be construed as a 1/4 cent, err, I mean 1/4% tax, which sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

    You righties with your argument that we should not reward Sacramento for their squandering and pilfering would be amusing if it were not for the harm our county will experience if this does not pass.
    If this doesn’t pass, please don’t gripe about the condition of our roads and transportation infrastructure. Instead, head up to Sacramento and reform the system. And good luck with that.

    Me, I’ll stay here in SLO and in reality, and gladly vote in favor of the 1/4 cent tax. (Last sentence written toungue in cheek, have a little humor, it will make you live longer)

    (-6) 32 Total Votes - 13 up - 19 down
    • Mitch C says:

      I am sure that WHEN the measure fails, the Board of Supervisors will punish us by ensuring that the roads deteriorate instead of putting together a budget and fixing what needs to be fixed. There is enough money for road maintenance if what they collect is spent wisely. Where is the financial analysis that spells out income and corresponding projects based on on the funds currently collected? The money is there, they just want more!

      (4) 20 Total Votes - 12 up - 8 down
    • DonDiego says:


      Do really believe that if this sales tax fails, it will harm our county? You lefties need to realize that government is never the solution. Do you really think that paying Larry Allen over $200,000, or the existence of the whole APCD for that matter, actually creates cleaner air? Government does nothing more than waste our money. They don’t need any more. What will eventually happen is that elected officials will have to answer the hard question as to why they are writing huge checks to social service non profits and not fixing the roads. Let’s make that happen!

      (6) 22 Total Votes - 14 up - 8 down
      • BlueBerry says:


        You are right on!

        FAT Government is the problem and it will never be enough even if the 1/2% tax is voted in. It was never enough in Paso Robles or San Luis Obispo they are going to be paying for tax upon tax.

        (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
    • r0y says:

      Any fool who wants to give this government more money is just that. A fool.

      They get not ½, not ¼, not even ⅛… they can have ⁰/₄ sales tax increase from me.

      (hint: for the mathematically-challenged, zero ÷ four = zero.)

      (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
  3. SLOBIRD says:

    I am more angry that our elected officials are not in Sacramento demanding that the legislators and the Governor give the Cities their due paid tax money. We paid the gas tax, the law states how it is to be dispensed and no elected official representing their citizens is demanding this money be given back to the taxpayers. Each City in this State pays the League of California Cities THOUSANDS of DOLLARS annually to represent them in Sacramento regarding abuses, laws and changes in our State Government. The are paid to monitor and protect the Cities. So, either the city/supervisor politicians don’t care or they are not being represented by the League. Either way, the taxpayers in California are being abused by our political system. Our Federal government, the Obama Administration, has been doing this for 7 1/2 years, and has gotten away with it and now we are seeing it filter down to State and local governments. Even Morro Bay is pulling these shanigians regarding the Embarcadero Measure D passed in 1981. Interesting how the Democrats seem to be the leaders of this movement of corrupt government! We should demand our representatives protect our tax dollars and they should go to Sacramento and march, protest and demand our money. We know they got on the plane and fly to Sacramento, meet with the powers to be when something they believe in is not being protected for their special interest groups. Hold our local representatives accountable!

    (3) 11 Total Votes - 7 up - 4 down
  4. Paso_citizen says:

    If the majority of SLO voters are just 1/2 of 1 percent (or 1/2 cent or however else one would like to express it) as angry as the people who have commented on this story; then this ballot measure will be so overwhelming defeated it will be earthshaking.

    As to the many promises made by our elected ‘leaders’ (I use that term loosely) on the
    absolute dire need for more money so they can solve and fix the many problems facing us –
    please ask yourselves – what is the track record?

    I believe you will find that promises so far exceed what actually gets done that it is no longer

    The only smart thing to do is to vote NO on any and on every proposed tax increase; No government will ever accept financial responsibility unless forced to. The only way to force
    them to cut off their continual cry for more money; when they don’t even try to responsibly spend the money they already get.

    So again – vote NO on all taxes.

    (17) 23 Total Votes - 20 up - 3 down
    • BlueBerry says:

      Paso_citizen you are right on!

      Remember there are people who are optimistic and will vote yes as well and I am banking on that number being toooooo small.

      Road repair is used as a weapon against each of us and our tax dollars.
      Yes we want roads but we will not let government rape us one more time.

      Vote NO on Measure J

      (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
    • r0y says:

      Never trust an Elected Leech when they come asking for more money. Ever. How is this not clear to everyone? You can wrap children, elderly, public safety – whatever phrase tests the best, smart people will always see through that.

      Therein may lie our problem… :(

      (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down

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