Pixel Tracker

Monday, February 18 , 2019, 4:27 am | Fair 46º


Sales-Tax Plan for New County Jail to Go on November Ballot

Board of Supervisors supports proposal for a half-percent tax to fund construction and operation costs

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a plan to place on the Nov. 2 ballot a half-percent sales tax to fund the construction and operation of a new North County jail.

Designed to replace a 1 percent tax scheduled to sunset on June 30, 2011, the tax — called the jail construction, operation and public safety enhancement tax — would bring about $30 million into the Sheriff’s Department coffers annually.

Pointing out steadily rising rates of recidivism, Sheriff Bill Brown has said that in addition to a new 304-bed, $80 million jail — which he said is needed to relieve pressure on the South Coast’s overcrowded main jail — money from the tax also would be spent on prevention programs.

Furthermore, a $56 million state grant would leave the county on the hook for only $24 million of the jail’s construction costs. Some of the tax revenue would be spent on fire protection.

Brown has said that although the tax essentially means that the county sales tax would decrease to 8.25 percent from 8.75 percent, he has a tough job ahead of him to sell it to voters during an economic downturn.

If approved by voters this fall, the tax would remain on the books for 10 years before coming up again for reapproval.

Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.