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Encinitas council votes to put 1% sales tax measure on November ballot

Posted at 11:25 PM, May 22, 2024

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) — The Encinitas City Council placed a sales tax measure on the ballot in the upcoming November election.

The council voted 4-1 to let voters decide whether to approve a 1% sales tax increase.

Before the deciding vote, the council heard from hours of public comment.

Some residents supported the tax, but others expressed a lack of trust in the council and raised concerns that the money wouldn't be spent as promised.

"Like infrastructure, public safety, the things the government really has to keep a handle on, not just the general fund where it can go anywhere," said Jim O'Hara, an Encinitas resident and business owner.

The current sales tax in Encinitas is 7.75% and would jump to 8.75% for ten years if it passes in November.

The City says it would bring roughly $15.4 million to help fund things like critical infrastructure projects, protecting public beaches and maintaining streets.

"Several speakers talked about how expensive this would be, and what I mentioned was how expensive it would be to not take action," said longtime Encinitas resident Judy Berlfein.

During the item's discussion, the council agreed to amend the resolution to create an oversight committee that tracks how and where that money is spent.

The measure would need a simple majority to pass. Election day is Nov. 5.