San Diego Residents Support Taxes to Pay for Environmental Projects

A new poll suggests San Diego county residents might support a new tax to fund regional environmental programs, according to the North County Times (San Diego, Calif.).

Directed by the San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego County's regional transportation and planning agency, the poll shows residents favor cleaning up the ocean, lakes and rivers over preserving open space and placing sand on beaches.

According to the poll, at least 60 percent of residents supported each of these three funding options: a 0.125-cent increase in the sales tax, which in most communities is 7.75 cents on the dollar; a $2 tax on daily rental car charges; and a new fee on commercial development.

Under state law, two-thirds approval by voters is required to adopt new taxes that are targeted at specific purposes, such as for environmental programs.

The poll also found that support for a sales tax increase fell to a little more than half of poll respondents when the size of the increase was changed to either a quarter of a cent or half of a cent.

Boosting property taxes by $15 per year, charging a $4 daily tax for renting cars and a general increase in the hotel tax also garnered support from barely half the populace, the North County Times reports.

Support fell below 50 percent when respondents were polled about bigger property tax increases, a hypothetical $6 tax on car rentals and any kind of beach parking fee.

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