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Lompoc holds community forum to discuss upcoming sales tax increase proposal

Posted at 11:33 PM, Jan 30, 2020

Council member James Mosby held a community forum to break down the numbers of what a sales tax increase could look like for Lompoc.

In September 2019, the Lompoc City Council unanimously passed holding a sales tax increase election.

Some in the community such as Robert Wetzel, say they're in support of a higher tax.

"The reason I support the sales tax measure is I look at it and say I have complete control on how much tax I pay. If I choose to buy taxable items, I'm going to pay more sales tax. If I chose not to pay that, then I won't buy those taxable items," said Robert Wetzel, Lompoc resident.

The city says Measure I 2020 could generate close to five million dollars in additional revenue for the city.

"This is a potential opportunity for the people should they pass it to save about 45 million dollars," said Mosby.

The one percent sales tax will also be used to upgrade the city's police force by filling three vacant positions.

"Fill up a couple public safety seats that we've held open. We do have about 20 other city hall positions that we are maintaining or holding open right now," said Mosby.

The city says Measure I 2020 could also be used to maintain and improve firefighter staffing, gang enforcement, street improvements and park upgrades.

While Wetzel understands why people wouldn't want to pay even more in taxes, the idea of more revenue for police is something he wants.

"I want to live in a community that's safe, attractive and I feel safe in and I think that will help in that respect," said Wetzel.

If the sales tax increase is passed, it would last 15 years.

The sales tax measure will be on the March 3 primary ballot.