San Luis Obispo considering 1 percent sales tax increase

December 12, 2019


Emboldened by apparent voter support, the city of San Luis Obispo is not only considering a new sales tax measure, but one that would hike the current rate by a full percent.

San Luis Obispo officials have released the results of a survey conducted by a firm contracted by the city, which appear to indicate strong support for a tax increase initiative.

Poll results show 63 percent of residents surveyed are at least leaning toward supporting a ballot initiative that would raise the city sales tax by 1 percent. Additionally, 60 percent of those surveyed at least lean toward supporting a measure that would raise the sales tax rate by a half percent.

The 1 percent increase proposal was worded as a tax to fund services, maintenance and infrastructure. The half percent increase proposal would cover infrastructure only.

A general purpose sales tax increase requires a simple majority vote to pass.

The current sales tax rate in San Luis Obispo is 7.75 percent, a rate shared by all seven cities in SLO County. Each city in the county has already adopted its own half percent sales tax increase.

SLO voters renewed the city’s half percent sales tax in 2014, when Measure G passed with more than 70 percent support.

A few years later, city officials floated the idea of placing a sales tax hike on the 2018 ballot but tabled the idea because of a lack of public support.

San Luis Obispo is now one of several cities in the county currently considering a sales tax measure. Last November, Paso Robles voters rejected a half percent sales tax hike that appeared on the ballot in the North County city.

Russ J

I imagine the 1 percenters would go for this, along with the college students. It won’t phase the elite 1 percenters who have plenty of money and the college students don’t care; it’s not usually ‘their’ money. There must be a lot of 1 percenters in SLO and there’s too many college students. How fitting – 1%!


The youth usually protest for democratic rights internationally and historically in the US, the working class and students, and the 1%; usually retired and politicians whom censor speech, as in Oceano case. College students and youth started civil crights, Vietnam, Berkeley protests, Union protests in the US, while the elderly censored. As in Hong Kong, the youth fight for rights. And internationally, if the 1% keeps you def, dumb and quiet, the money comes flowing.


Now you can see why the city is fighting council by district. The council makeup will change when the vast majority of the college students are voting for just one council seat instead of all the seats.

Last Individual

“Poll results show 63 percent of residents surveyed are at least leaning toward supporting a ballot initiative that would raise the city sales tax by 1 percent.”

I wonder who did this “poll”. Most probably they asked people if they would support a 1% increase in sales tax. Many of the answers they received (maybe 63%) sounded something like “Oh sure. 1% is nothing. I wouldn’t object that.”

However, if they asked do you support a 13% increase in sales tax by raising the rate from $77.50 per thousand dollars you spent to $87.50 per thousand dollars you spend, I doubt they would often hear anything at all positive.

How they asked the question is everything. For example, if you asked:

“Do you favor free housing, food, and healthcare for life as well as a guaranteed job?” You would likely get a majority to think that is a good idea (particularly if you asked the question on the Cal Poly campus).

But, if you asked:

“Do you favor slavery?” You probably wouldn’t get much agreement.