Palo Alto committee recommends hotel-tax hike

City look to November ballot measure for help with infrastructure needs

A ballot measure to raise hotel taxes in Palo Alto on Friday took its biggest leap yet toward this November's ballot, though city officials remain undecided on how big the increase should be and what exactly it should fund.

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Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 11, 2014 at 7:42 am

Seemingly this has become our city leader's and elected official's answer to every budgetary challenge. Raise taxes. After decades of irresponsible and frivolous spending on non-essential projects and services, they return once again to the public trough crying poor. They demonstrate zero accountability or any sense that sound financial priorities need to be implemented in order to pay for our vital and essential public works.

We voters need to draw the line in my opinion and say enough is enough. Maybe it will finally sink in when they hear a resounding no.

Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jan 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

The city has been very responsible in managing city finances relative to infrastructure and investing for our future and quality of life. Additional funds have gone to annual street repair since 2010 greatly increasing the pace of paving and sidewalk repair. The city has devoted $8 million from the General Fund budget to build an infrastructure reserve in both 2013 and 2014.

As a result many of the important infrastructure needs with the exception of the public safety building, can now be financed with a much smaller tax increase than previously thought. Either a small increase in the hotel tax recommended yesterday or a small sales tax increase together with existing revenues can fund park, fire station, bikeway and parking garage improvements plus smaller catch up work on deferred maintenance.

In part this good news is the result of a strong economy boosting revenues BUT it is also the result of the city devoting substantially more existing funds to investing for our future.

The infrastructure committee yesterday was deciding which additional revenue source to recommend but all were excited that we are close to funding most of the projects identified by residents as important to them.

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