Goleta Meets Jail Tax With Some Skepticism

Sheriff Bill Brown’s ongoing tour to show off the need to pass Measure S — the half-cent sales tax being proposed to pay for a new county jail and related services — found a slightly cooler reception than normal on Tuesday at Goleta City Hall, where Mayor Eric Onnen questioned the operational cost estimates and grilled Brown on whether the tax won’t take $30 million out of the county’s annual economy and kill jobs. “I very much doubt we’re going to see any jobs lost in Santa Barbara County,” retorted Brown, explaining that the half-cent bump would kick in when a one percent state tax fades, leaving county residents with less than the current taxation, later adding toward the end of the two hour presentation, “What is the cost of our safety being diminished?…This is the last resort.” The council is expected to vote on supporting the measure in early September.

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