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April Brings Sales Tax Increases To Several South Coast Cities

A sales tax increase approved by voters in Carpinteria, Santa Maria and Port Hueneme has gone into effect as of April 1.

The rates in Santa Maria and Port Hueneme increased by 1%, to 8.75%, while Carpinteria increased from 7.75% to 9%.

The changes in Port Hueneme specifically were approved by voters via Ballot Measure U last year, and the increase in income is expected to be around $1.8 million.

The cities say that the money from an across-the-board tax was needed to help with infrastructure costs such as road improvements, libraries, and in the case of Port Hueneme and Carpinteria, law enforcement.

In Carpinteria, the city contracts with the Sheriff's Department for its police force. Those costs make up a significant portion of the annual budget. It also has a costly backlog of road work.