I have no problem with a half-percent sales tax increase if the city of Atascadero had exhausted other options for revenue. The fact is, it has not.
The Walmart project has been held hostage by a small group of people for more than five years. Two elections have been held and both approved the project. It’s time to move forward. The Walmart project is estimated to bring in between $1 million and $2 million per year in tax revenue, the same as the proposed tax increase.
If the city would come up with some incentives to encourage viable businesses to move into some of the vacant storefronts and get the Walmart project on track, it would find itself with plenty of funds to improve roads, as well as a tax surplus for future projects.