By JOSH FRIEDMAN
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.