Milton Friedman’s old adage that “There is nothing more permanent than a temporary government program” is alive and well in San Luis Obispo. Sold to voters in 2006 as a “temporary eight-year sales tax increase” to “fund community improvements,” Measure Y has failed both promises. Now that the city is “hooked” on the revenue, it wants voters to extend that tax increase for another eight years with Measure G.
Before 2006, the city historically spent approximately $4.5 million on capital improvements to improve our streets, our parks and our infrastructure. Since then, there has been no appreciable increase in that level of spending. Instead, Measure Y merely provided more room in the city’s general fund to cover the payrolls and pensions that drive 91 percent of its budget. Since 2000, our population has barely grown by 3 percent, while city salaries increased by 214 percent and the city’s budget by 380 percent. Meanwhile, the city has $93 million sitting in the bank? Enough already!
It’s time the city lives within its means. Measure G is a fiscal shell game. Someone said, “Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us!” Don’t be fooled again. Vote “no” on Measure G.