Sales Tax In Santa Maria May Be Going Up. Or Not.

Voters in November will have their say whether sales tax in Santa Maria, California will be increasing. 

On the eve of Independence Day, a holiday commemorating a revolution started largely due to taxation, voters will get their say. Taxation with representation will be on the ballot in November as the city council unanimously voted to put a proposed sales tax increase to a vote.

Voters in Santa Maria approved a sales tax increase back in 2012. However, the increase is set to expire in three years. Now, the city council is asking residents to increase sales tax in Santa Maria again.

This proposal is a one-cent on ever dollar increase. However, it will not expire like the 2012 measure.


The reason for the proposed increase is for “public safety and quality of life services” funding. They estimate the increase would yield $18 annually million for such services.

“The city needs a dependable revenue source to fund our vital city services,” Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino said. “This local measure, if enacted by voters, will maintain our dependable revenue stream that can never be taken by the state. Maintaining this local funding will help our local police department and fire department build on our success and keep Santa Maria an excellent place to live.”

The city is facing an estimated budget shortfall of $8.5 million due largely to rising pension obligations. To combat this, the city has dipped into their emergency fund. In addition, some government offices and services have closed or reduced hours.

A Growing Trend?

Santa Maria is not the first California town to find itself low on cash. California in general sees a relatively high cost of living, owing in part to increased taxes, fees, and other expenses.

Ultimately, the voters will have their say in November regarding the sales tax in Santa Maria. However, public sentiment may be lukewarm in a state which already has a high cost of living.

City vs City knows that cost of living expenses vary based on your location. Therefore, we calculate costs at the zip code level to get an accurate look at your cost of living. The sales tax in Santa Maria may not be enough to make you want to flee just yet. However, plenty of Californians are looking elsewhere for an easier cost of living situation.

City vs City allows you to easily compare the cost of living in your city with another city of your choosing. Download City vs City today and find out how your city ranks.