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SLO will decide if and how to vote on a Measure Y renewal 

Members of the San Luis Obispo City Council are scheduled to hammer out details over a potential ballot measure to renew a one-half percent sales tax, and whether to invoke case law that could allow a narrow majority approval to do so.

With a recent analysis from City Attorney Christine Dietrick—championed by Mayor Jan Marx—the city could potentially vote to put a Measure Y renewal proposal on the November ballot with a 3-2 majority rather than the four votes previously thought necessary.

Councilmembers Dan Carpenter and Kathy Smith have indicated they’ll vote down the proposal as presented (Smith stated she’d like the tax to be a specific use, rather than general use to ensure it’s devoted to capital improvement projects rather than employee compensation).

Citing the so-called San Leandro case (Traders Sports Inc. v. City of San Leandro), an unreleased analysis from Dietrick could allow SLO, as a charter city, to put a measure on the ballot with a simple majority, city officials said.

City councilmembers on April 15 agreed to schedule an agenda item on the issue for their May 6 meeting, when they will discuss both proposed language as well as whether the issue needs a 3-2 or 4-1 majority to pass.

“I would hope that all points of view would be considered this time rather than the kind of division we experienced last time,” Smith said.

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