Paso Robles City Council eyeing tax increases

July 11, 2020

The Paso Robles City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to prepare to place a 1 percent sales tax increase measure on the Nov. 2020 ballot.

Paso Robles already has a .5 percent city sales tax. Voters approved the prior sales tax measure in 2012, and it is set to expire in 2024.

City officials say a new 1 percent sales tax increase would generate up to $10 million annually. Officials are projecting a revenue loss of more than $5 million each in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, because of the coronavirus, according to a city staff report.

On Thursday, council members voted 5-0 to direct city staff to return to the council at its July 21 meeting with a resolution and analysis for placing a sales tax measure on the November ballot. Council members would then decide whether to formally place the measure on the ballot.

Additionally, the council also voted 5-0 Thursday in favor of staff preparing a 1 percent transient occupancy tax increase measure to place on the Nov. ballot. City staff will present the TOT measure, too, at the July 21 council meeting.

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Now that there are a pile of hotels, wine tourism, trailer and water parks, there is a tax shortage? Where’s the end of that tax need?

I’ve read all the comments and agree with the idea that government needs to scale back, etc.

Let’s remember that this won’t happen unless it is approved by the voting public. From the responses, you would think that the increase is a done deal. Vote it down.

Having listened to last Thursday’s Council meeting and reading all of the attached comments – I’m not I can add anything new; but I must try.

Paso Robles city government is a complete disaster. Like hungry hogs eating slop – they can not or will not stop eating – until the citizens stop pouring slop into the trough.

Multi-colored mailings (I received 2), multiple surveys, supposedly citizen feedback stating what the city wants everyone to believe – “We are broke and have done everything possible to trim expenses”. Therefore we must tap into our favorite bank account (the citizens pocketbook) and get more, and more, and more. Simply stated:

The city has spent thousands of tax-payer dollars to convince the tax-payers to tax

themselves more so that the city can continue their fiscal mismanagement practices.

If that is not ironic – I don’t know what is.

I am in favor of significant salary cuts and/or personnel cuts. Thousands of households and businesses have suffered and will continue to suffer due to COVID-19. The city either is blind to this fact or just do not care.

We, the voters, must take the only action at our disposal. Vote NO on any sales tax increase.

The city must demonstrate better monetary management and do things such as:

1. Across board salary decreases – not postponement and reimburse at a later date.

2, Increase TOT to at least 12%. Many other cities currently are doing this. Why not Paso?

3. Immediately extend the downtown parking program to weekends. Does anyone have a feel for

how much this program cost the taxpayers? Wasted money.

If you drive around the city, you will many banners stating the following:


I have to wonder – who are the “WE” and what is the cities definition of “TOGETHER”

“WE” should mean everybody – city officials, citizens, and tourists – not just taxpayers.

This city deserves much, much more than we are getting from our elected and appointed officials.

But we will not get it – until we demand it. Again, vote NO on sales tax increase.

And by the way, no one at Thursdays council meeting on in any comment that I have seen has

stated that a sales tax increase at this time is the best way to go. Where all those people that

the city says want this?

All the people out of work or on less hrs of work have had to cut certain things to get by but the government solution has always been to raise tax’s and wages for themselves. Government needs to follow the criteria of a family and cut unnecessary items to get back in line with reality. Lots of luck on that.

Really bad timing psychologically. After what everyone has been through this is really not a good time to add insult to injury. Most of us had to cut back back, live on reduced wages or investment income and face up to the reality of hard times. Anyone else feel that way?