San Diego

City of Chula Vista Sends Survey on Half-Cent Sales Tax Increase

The proposed half-cent sales tax hike would be in place for an unspecified amount of time

A survey is making its way to residents in Chula Vista asking how they would feel about another sales tax increase.

A half-cent sales tax was put in motion just a couple of months ago.

Now, the City Manager's office is sending out a survey that includes questions to gauge interest in certain services, such as after-school programs for teens, homeless outreach, cleaning up graffiti in parks and increasing staffing for both the fire and police departments.

The survey also asks how residents would feel about a half-cent sales tax increase for an unspecified amount of time. 

"A half-cent...I think I'd be okay with, especially if it went to something like response times for police officers," said Chula Vista resident Brett Ringo.

The Chula Vista Fire Department (CVFD) has failed to meet the national response time goal for six years in a row.

CVFD recently received a federal grant to add 12 more firefighters, but staffing levels are still low compared to other cities the same size.

The Chula Vista Police Department ranks among the lowest staffed in California. Staffing levels are 12 percent lower than they were 10 years ago, making it the lowest sworn officer-to-population ratio in San Diego County.

But many residents still feeling the pinch from a recent sales tax increase told NBC 7 another hike, so soon, would just be too much.

"I wouldn't appreciate it. Especially with gas going up, that's just more money out of our pockets," said resident Tina Blake.

The City Manager's office will present the results of the survey to the City Council during a meeting on Dec. 19.

Voters approved the half-cent sales tax increase during last November's election. That went into effect April 1, 2017.

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