PASO ROBLES, Calif- Measure E would require a half cent added to the current sales tax of 7.25 percent in the City of Paso Robles. If approved it will bring in about 3-million dollars per year to the city's general fund. City council plans to use the money for roadways and other city maintenance. Measure F is also on November's ballot. It is a vote to specifically ensure that the sales tax money goes to improving roadways and maintaining the roads.
"That's enough money every year that we can begin to keep up over time with some of the roads," said City Manager Jim App. Some local businesses, like Poalillo Winery said having to increase prices will hurt business. "You can only price up so far and then you end up selling less product," said Dave Garretson, the owner. Wineries are the face of Paso Robles and a 1.5 billion dollar industry for the city.
Darryl Stolz lives and works in Paso, and he said he's not a fan of raising taxes, but the city needs safer roads. "It can at times affect health and safety, especially if you are driving and the roads are not maintained well it can cause accidents, I feel like its something we should care for as part of our town," said Darryl Stolz, a community member.
App admits there are other options besides a sales tax to get the work done. One is to use money from the cities 10 million dollar surplus. "The problem is it only goes so far and then its gone, so we have been very careful through this recession not to go out and spend it unless we absolutely have to," said App. The second option is to make further cuts to city departments. So far, the city has already cut 35 percent of its staff.
A majority vote is needed to pass both measures E and F. Also a 2/3rds vote by city council. If approved the sales tax will become effective April 1st and will be in place for 12 years.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:06 AM EDT2013-05-21 06:06:33 GMT
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