Atascadero to host meeting on county sales tax hike

A countywide half-percent sales tax increase is expected to go before voters in November for local transportation projects left unfunded in the face of a shortfall in state and federal funding.

The measure would designate San Luis Obispo County as one of 20 current “self-help” counties across the state in which voters approve, by a two-thirds majority, one half-percent sales tax to fund projects that have been left on the table due largely to dropping gas revenues.

If passed, the sales tax would generate an estimated $22 million annually until it sunsets in nine years, according to the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments. In total, the City of Atascadero expects to receive a little over $12 million. The city says it would use those funds for regional highway projects, bike and pedestrian safety, and public transportation.

In order to inform residents on the local projects, city staff will hold an open house from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21 at City Hall, 6500 Palma Ave.

More information about the proposed tax can be found at www.selfhelpslo.com. Background information on the transportation funding situation can be found at the Self-Help Counties Coalition website at www.selfhelpcounties.org.