Forum scheduled to discuss potential sales tax measure in Atascadero

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comJune 3, 2014 

Increasing Atascadero's sales tax would help upgrade roads, described as the city's "biggest challenge," city leaders say. Shown here is pavement damage on East Front Street.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

The public is invited to a forum Thursday to talk about a possible sales tax measure the City of Atascadero may put on the November ballot.

If city leaders decide to take the measure to voters in the next election, and voters approve it, raising the city’s sales tax by a half-percent is expected to generate $1.7 million to $2 million annually for 10 years. The City Council previously said that money could go toward fixing the city's roads, although uses for the revenue are still up for discussion.

The council is expected to consider whether to move forward on the ballot measure at its June 24 meeting.

At the forum, the public will be able to ask questions about the potential tax hike and hear from city staff on the condition of the city’s existing roads, as well as the anticipated costs of maintaining them, according to a city press release.

Atascadero's current sales tax rate is 7.5 percent. The increase would bring it 8 percent, keeping the city on par with San Luis Obispo County's six other cities that have all passed similar tax hike measures in the past.

The community forum will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 6500 Palma Ave. Access to City Hall will be from Lewis Avenue, across from Atascadero Junior High School.

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