Oceanside considers half-cent sales tax hike

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – The City of Oceanside is considering placing a half-cent sales tax increase measure on the November ballot to boost public safety.

Citing an ever-increasing cost of public safety, city officials say more funds are needed to maintain safety and the level of police officers, firefighters/paramedics and lifeguards, as well as improve streets, sidewalks and infrastructure.

City officials say the potential funding would ensure the city has enough police officers to respond quickly to emergencies and reduce gang activity and drug-related crime; ensure the city has enough firefighters/paramedics and lifeguards to respond quickly to emergencies; repair potholes and maintain local streets; keep public areas clean and free of graffiti; enhance public infrastructure; and repair, maintain and enhance streets and pavement.

Residents with whom FOX 5 spoke Wednesday night are applauding the proposal.

“I’m for it if it goes towards safety,” said resident Sci Smith.

Smith, who grew up in Oceanside, said there is definitely a need for public safety.

“My main concern is we need more ambulances and fire trucks and quicker response time,” said Smith. “I know I have friends in that department and they would love the help.”

“I think public safety is definitely key, especially with the homeless problem we have around here. That’s actually really good,” said resident Corey Conn.

Both residents said in the past five years, Oceanside has made vast improvements and with more funding, it can only get better.

“You see a lot of changes around here. It will be good for the community,” said Smith.

“Just a good idea for people who live and work around here just to make the place a little nicer,” said Conn.

The sales tax measure would last seven years.

Should this ballot measure be passed by Oceanside voters, all money raised would stay within the city and could not be taken away by the state.

City officials are taking input here.