Several SLO County cities considering sales tax measures

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

Several San Luis Obispo County cities are considering pursuing sales tax increase initiatives that could appear on the 2020 ballots. [KSBY]

On Tuesday, the Atascadero City Council approved allocating $25,000 for a consultant to survey residents about a potential sales tax measure. 

Previously, Grover Beach hired a consultant for $30,000 to survey residents on what they like and dislike about city services. One of the survey questions was whether residents would support a half-cent sales tax increase to fund neighborhood police patrols, crime watch, traffic enforcement and other services. 

City Manager Matthew Bronson said, despite the city receiving more than 10 percent of its revenue from its new marijuana tax, there are ongoing police and fire staffing needs. 

The cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo are also considering sales tax hike initiatives.

Currently, all seven SLO County cities have sales tax rates of 7.75 percent. Each of the seven cities have adopted their own half percent sales taxes in the past. 

Last November, Paso Robles voters rejected an additional half percent sales tax hike that appeared on the ballot. Voters rejected the tax hike on a 53.28 percent to 46.72 percent vote.

San Luis Obispo floated the idea of a placing a sales tax hike on the 2018 ballot but tabled the idea because of a lack of support. 

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