Arroyo Grande council extends city sales tax

April 13, 2017

The Arroyo Grande City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the city’s half percent sales tax for five years. The move will keep the tax in place until at least 2022.

In Nov. 2006, Arroyo Grande voters approved Measure O, establishing the city sales tax. The tax comes up for review by the city council every five years, but voter approval is not needed to extend it. The council previously approved a five-year extension of the tax in 2012.

City officials say the sales tax is expected to generate about $2.2 million in revenue in the current fiscal year. Over the past five years, the city spent about $10.5 million of Measure O revenue, according to an Arroyo Grande staff report.

The report states 62 percent of the expenditures went to street and park improvements, 26 percent went to public safety, 5 percent went to drainage improvements, 5 percent went to city facilities and 2 percent went to transportation projects.

Little Measure O funding has been spent on improvements to the Highway 101-Brisco Road  interchange, despite that being one of the reasons for initially creating the tax. City staff say delays in obtaining approval from Caltrans have prevented Arroyo Grande from using significant chunks of Measure O money on resolving the Brisco Road problem.

Recently, the city closed the Brisco Road on and off-ramps for about a year. The city was conducting a study to determine how a permanent closure would impact traffic congestion in Arroyo Grande. During the closure, public safety personnel noted quicker response times and a majority of city residents supported keeping the ramps closed.

However, the city reopened the ramps late last year after CalTrans said it would not permit the city to extend the closure past June unless it moved forward with an alternative to reduce traffic congestion.

The city’s staff report on the Measure O extension says officials plan to spend $1.6 million of sale tax revenue over the next five years on the Brisco Road project. But, the funds will likely be used to finance a portion of the project costs over a 30-year period, the staff report also states.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I still have memories of sitting in the AG Performing Arts building and being surrounded by people applauding themselves for increasing their own taxation (Measure D). It was then I knew we were done for.

I’m shocked. Can anyone really believe that they extended the sales tax? After all aren’t these people elected to represent US? Okay I was trying to be funny. They only care about themselves and could care less about the people until election time when they will tell you anything you want to hear and promise you the world at the same time. These cities and the state will eventually tax themselves out of business. Like real businesses when the product becomes too expensive people quit going and eventually the business will fail. I think we are starting to see that starting to happen. A very good portion of all of these taxes will go towards studies and administration (pay raises and benefits) costs.

The gas tax will be like the school lottery money. These monies are collected and will be put into existing accounts and the politicians will show up with their hard hats and gold shovels and brag about the great jobs that they are doing. But what most people don’t realize is what goes in comes out. The lottery money just replaced funds that were in the school budget that got moved out and were spent someplace else. Did anyone see any improvement in the school systems? The buildings even got worst due to lack of maintenance. It’s only a matter of time that it will all cave in and at some point there will be nothing more that they can tax or fee.


‘Ah shucks. Our bureaucracy wouldn’t work with their bureaucracy.’

Darn. We’ll just have to give ourselves a raise.

This is a perfect example of why taxes should NEVER be APPROVED, they never go away. It is like candy to a kid, there is never enough and they always want more. And to approve a tax that gives the Council to automatically renew it is insane, which explains why Adam Hill is still in office. Boy, I am glad I don’t live here!

You do know that Adam Hill is a County Supervisor, not a AG City Council member, don’t you? Are you also aware that most (all?) of the City of AG is in Lynn Compton’s supervisorial district?

I have as much dislike of Adam Hill as anybody, but this particular situation has nothing to do with him.

Not exactly RonHolt, Caren Ray is just Adam Hill with different makeup.

Also, AG has its problems but they’re not as bad as SLO’s problems. You worry about dealing with those and leave us to deal with ours.

How can you write about a sales tax without giving us the percent?

“extend the city’s half percent sales tax”, I know our schools are not teaching the basics anymore and are top heavy in administration, keeping teachers and staff that should be fired, and wasting millions of taxpayer dollars but hopefully most know that a half percent” means .5%.

They have to pay for their new overpriced city manager.

What a surprise.

Of course they did. Was there ever a doubt? Does government ever give back what it takes from you?

They only want more.

And how much went to pay for highly inflated pensions and benefits for city employees?