Monterey County

Cities to decide on new sales tax measure for voters

Sales tax would fund certain transportation services

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. - With several cities already considering new sales tax measures for the November ballot, the question remains whether TAMC will be able to get its own 1/8 cent sales tax measure approved to go before voters for Monterey Salinas Transit.

Monterey is already considering a half cent sales tax measure as well as Salinas.

Pacific Grove city council will be asked next Wednesday if it agrees with four other jurisdictions like Gonzales, Monterey, Marina and Sand City, to grant approval for the tax measure to be placed on the ballot.

MST requires a majority of member jurisdictions to agree to submit a ballot measure for voter consideration. A two-thirds vote will be required for passage because it is considered a special purpose tax.

The additional revenue that could be generated by the measure will be used specifically to provide services and equipment for veterans, seniors and persons with disabilities. The District manager states that without this additional revenue, current MST services to those special groups will be discontinued.  

Pacific Grove already participates in the taxi voucher program by subsidizing the cost of the vouchers.

Some argue higher sales taxes can have a negative impact on local business. The higher the sales tax required to be paid, the more money could be shifted to on-line sales, shopping in neighboring
counties, or other uses.

But Pacific Grove city officials said, based on neighboring city tax rates and increased taxation of on-line sales, this potential impact to Pacific Grove should be negligible.

If the measure is successful, it would raise the tax rate within City limits to 8.625 percent.

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