H-SANTA MARIA

Oct 1, 2012 11:10 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Locals react to Santa Maria sales tax increase

If you're doing some shopping or dining in Santa Maria, you might notice a change on your receipt.

Starting Monday, the sales tax switched from 7.75% to 8%.

The tax hike is all part of "Measure U", which voters approved back in June. The money will go to the police departments gang unit, to staff fire station number 5 and to repair the Santa Maria River Levee.

The city said it will bring in about $4 million dollars each year.

KSBY's Nikki Ibarra visited a local restaurant Monday to see what customers think about the hike.

For John Cagle, it's always the same choice on the menu.

'It's usually around the same. I don't know if I see any difference in the price with the tax. I mean, it might be a couple of pennies more but it doesn't bother me," said Cagle of Santa Maria.

Cagle doesn't mind the tax. In fact, he voted for it back in June.

For Clifford Dunlap, none of his customers seem to question it. "I think some people might not even notice. Some people might. They'll go why, what's going on? But, I'm not sure. We'll see. We'll see how it goes," said Dunlap of Santa Maria.

But he predicts, not everyone will agree. "There's always someone that will be bummed that they're going to be losing," added Dunlap.

The register was changed Monday morning so it could include the new sales tax. And so far, no problems.

For Cagle, he has no complains about the cost of his lunch.

But that could change. "We're going to go do some shopping so maybe I will see it. Maybe I'll change my mind in a couple of hours," said Cagle.

So what does this tax mean? It's a quarter for every $100 you spend.

This sales tax is temporary. City leaders said it will expire in 9 years, because they're hoping the economy will pick up by then.

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