Oceanside residents have a big decision to make when it comes to their local sales tax.
Measure X, which would increase sales tax .5 percent over the next seven years, made the November ballot with the City Council‘s approval months ago.
For some living in the area, the mere mention of a tax increase doesn’t sound appealing. Others, like Alex Taylor, are open to the idea under the right circumstances.
“I don't like to see any kind of tax increase unless I know exactly where the money is going in advance. I think signing up for a tax increase without some specific directions prior to making the commitment, is inequitable for people that are paying it”, explained Taylor.
But funds from Measure X aren’t earmarked for anything specific. The money could potentially be used for anything the oversight committee deems necessary, even pay increases for city employees.
Oceanside Mayor Peter Weiss said this is not his intention.
“You don't want to put money into something like this to expand your operating costs. Then seven years from now, have to figure out how to reduce costs. That is why I would like to see it go into projects that will provide benefits to the city,” Weiss told NBC 7.
Some of the projects Weiss would like to fund with the money include an upgraded Oceanside Police Beach substation, better beach restrooms and road repairs.
Oceanside resident Manny Ginez, a Measure X supporter, has some of the same projects on his wish list.
“I think it would help the tourism industry. I mean, because if the city is nicely kept, I think you would have more visitors in Oceanside,” he said.
The measure outlines some steps to keep the spending transparent, including a separate account for all Measure X funds, an annual independent audit, and an annual spending plan.
An extension of the increase after year seven would need to be approved by voters.