Paso Robles leaders are considering adding a new sales tax referendum to the November ballot — and they want your input.
The Paso Robles City Council on July 17 will discuss asking residents to approve an additional 1 percent tax to help pay for road repairs and emergeny services needs.
Paso Robles' current sales tax rate is 7.75 percent, according to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. All seven cities in San Luis Obispo County have the same sales tax rate — only the county itself has a lower 7.25 percent rate.
City manager Tom Frutchey said the declining state of the city's roads and overwhelmed emergency services staff prompted officials to seek additional funding.
Paso Robles' streets have scored a 54 out of 100 on the city's pavement management index, about 30 points away from the 84 rating officials want.
The city passed a half percent sales tax in 2012, which generates about $5 million per year for road repairs. Even so, Paso Robles needs $25 million per year for the next 10 years to achieve officials' desired pavement rating.
Paso Robles also needs another fire station to help reduce the emergency call load on the city's two fire stations. "Demand on those stations is skyrocketing," Frutchey said.
Frutchey said the northeast side of town is underserved, and there are times when the city's two fire engines are both responding to emergencies at the same time.
To determine the tax's potential, the city polled 720 likely voters using phone and online surveys.
Sixty-four percent of those who responded said the city is in need of additional funding, and 59 percent said they would support an additional 1 percent sales tax in November.
The city will hold an informational forum on July 16 at 6 p.m. at Flamson Middle School's multi-purpose room to receive input from residents and answer questions.