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Sales Tax Hikes Sought in Alabama, California


 Beach near San Luis Obispo. Worth sitting in traffic for.

Infrastructure ages and roads are outgrown. Cities, counties and states often look to sales tax revenue to fund improvements and expansion; and since most sales tax revenue is already allocated, rate increases are sought. That’s currently the case in Jackson County, Alabama and San Luis Obispo County, California.

Commissioners in Jackson County have decided to pursue placing a 1-cent special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) on the November 2016 ballot. If approved, it is expected to generate more than $3.5 million annually, money that would be earmarked for infrastructure improvements and county operations. A sales tax increase would be in lieu of an increase in property tax rates.

To the west, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments has already approved a public vote on a half-cent sales tax increase. Come November, county residents will vote on the tax, which would generate approximately $25 million annually. Details are still being worked out, but if approved, revenue would go towards improving several severely congested points, fixing potholes, improving bridge safety, and expanding alternative transportation routes. The tax would be temporary, expiring after nine years. Two-thirds of voters must approve the measure in order for it to take effect.

These types of discussions are taking place all over the country. Many will result in no change, but many others will impact sales and use tax rates.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.