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Taxing San Luis

I thought it was a very eye-opening segment last night when SLO city manager Ken Hampian and finance director Bill Statler stopped by to make their pitch to increase the city’s sales tax between a quarter- to half-cent. Grover Beach has already decided to put it on the ballot; San Luis city council is expected to vote in July. If they agree, then SLO residents get to vote next November. Bill believes an additional five million dollars can be raised from the tax increase. Of course, Cuesta College is already pushing their $310 million bond effort.

I would never claim that The Big Broadcast provides the pulse of the community on any issue, but the callers for Bill and Ken certainly underscore the uphill fight supporters face. No one was actually rushing to embrace this idea. But if you want better roads, more public safety, well, you know the argument . . . . . Costco is only bringing in an estimated $500,000 in sales tax for SLO — not enough to cover the gap.

The election is months away. Any initial thoughts on the sales tax increase? Is this an idea whose time has come?

  1. Anonymous
    February 9, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    Certainly no one welcomes an increase in sales tax with open arms, but!

    There can be little doubt that the county’s infrastructure is aging (aren’t we all) and needs tending to.

    With California’s less than stellar economic condition and the resultant lowered revenues coming back to the County, the only logical place to turn to for needed revenue is to a local ¼% increase in the sales tax. A major problem in infrastructure maintenance is that the longer it is delayed, the more it cost to fix.

    If we spend about $20,000 a year on taxable items a ¼% increase would increase our annual tax by only $50, that’s about one Latte a month to provide the needed dollars for the sheriff’s office, County fire, road repair and other needed services.

    We blew it on Prop L (Library) let’s not make the same mistake again.

    It’s our county; we need to take care of it.

  2. Mike Green
    February 10, 2006 at 2:40 am

    You better vote for it my pretties! When that group of malcontents in Los Osos gets their way and dissolves their own CSD the County is going to eat some of that poo “Big Time”

  3. Bob from San Luis
    February 10, 2006 at 3:47 am

    The two gentlemen from the city who spoke on Dave’s show did a good job of explaining why this sales tax increase is needed and how we are among the lowest of sales tax rates in the state. Not not really mentioned was that if every city in the county does the same thing at the same time, there will be no economic disadvantage for businesses in any of the cities in San Luis County. The big question that has been is asked is, will the voters see the wisdom in providing a revenue source for recovering what the state continues to take away from our municipalities? It will be interesting to see who funds any campaign against the sales tax increase measure, should it be put on the ballot.

  4. Frank in Pismo
    February 10, 2006 at 6:05 pm

    “Less than stellar” economy? What state and nation is anonymous living in? Go look at the numbers. Someone’s being spun by the media.

  5. Nipomo Al
    February 11, 2006 at 6:47 pm

    According to SLO County’s records, in fiscal 2003-2004 the county received $97,460,000 in general funds. That figure dropped by more than 10% to $86,624,000 in fiscal 2004-2005.
    SLO County has no place to look to make up this short-fall other than to its own residents.

  6. Lance
    March 2, 2006 at 4:35 am

    While every one talks about the state’s take aways from the cities, no one talks about stopping this practice only lets raise taxes more. That always seems to be the answer, lets just raise taxes. I wish the city would put as much energy in raising the sales tax as getting the state to stop digging into the pockets of the cities and counties. That is where their energy should be directed.

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