Some Chula Vista business owners oppose raising sales tax to hire more first responders

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- The Chula Vista City Council voted Tuesday night to ask residents whether to raise the sales tax in their city. The measure will be placed on June ballot.

Currently, the sales tax is 8.25 percent in Chula Vista. If the measure is approved, it would be raised to 8.75 percent -- among the highest in San Diego County.

The city says it needs the extra money to hire more police officers and firefighters as a way to improve response times and add to its ranks.

Business owners support the idea of hiring more officers and firefighters, but some worry the higher sales tax will hurt business.

"I hope they don't approve it. People already complain about gasoline going up. When prices go up, we are the first ones to feel it," said Robert MagaƱa, who runs Harper's Music in downtown Chula Vista.

Others who spoke to FOX 5 seemed divided about the idea.

"Where is it going to go? They're saying the police department and the fire department. I don't know but I'm not for it," said Chula Vista resident Mario Maldonado.

"One thing we can never predict is when we are going to need a cop or a firefighter so half a cent on my dinner or wherever it is coming from, I don't have an issue with it," said Allan Cassell, another resident of Chula Vista.