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Palo Alto to hire consultants for polling, outreach on business tax

Original post made on Nov 1, 2019

With its eyes on the November 2020 ballot, Palo Alto is preparing to survey residents this month to gauge their appetite for a proposed business tax.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 1, 2019, 9:49 AM

Comments (10)

26 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

Our City Government in ACTION! Agenda Item #1: Hire a consultant firm.


5 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 5:39 pm

What we really need is not so much a business tax but an accurate accounting of who is actually working in Palo Alto and how they are getting to work here.


10 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 1, 2019 at 8:01 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Is this the same polling firm the city council retained re the ballot initiative to reduce -- not eliminate -- office construction?


9 people like this
Posted by No to a General Tax
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 1, 2019 at 8:04 pm

PACC spends funds with abandon and can't be trusted with a general tax. Do a special tax for transportation and affordable housing or it will be a NO.


11 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 1, 2019 at 10:30 pm

No new taxes. No. None. The city has $455 million in unfunded pension liabilities for it's public employees. Pay that off. Cut jobs and expenses. Stop taxing and stop raising fees. Given the city's poor financial management, why would we give you more money?


6 people like this
Posted by Blarryg
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 2, 2019 at 4:44 pm

Blarryg is a registered user.

How about shrinking staff to the point where we can pay off the pension? And, getting rid of these liabilities going forward by making a 401K plan. Have the city contribute to it, whatever, just stop acruing unfunded liabilities.

Um, that's a "no thank you" to the business tax.


5 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 2, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Blarryg, why not both a business tax since commuters already outnumber residents at least 4:1 AND replacing the defined benefit plans with a 401K?

The rationale for civil service pensions was the lower salaries govt employees got but no longer -- not if you're tracking the lucrative salary-replacement pensions. housing allowances, car allowances etc we give aour civil "servants" get over their 40+-yr-retirements, esp. since some are quite adept at collecting from multiple municipalities.

Mr. Benitzen, the policeman who recently "left" under a cloud will be getting $118,000 a ear for the rest of his life. You do the math.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Among the hodge-podge of issues that are going to be polled please add:
1. RV locations and prohibitions. Son is in Oakland Hills and they have signs that say no vehicle above a certain height is allowed to park on the streets. The height eliminates the RV's. It is level of an SUV.
2. No sleeping in vehicles in R-1 neighborhoods is allowed. That is a major safety issue to the tax-paying residents.
3. No RV's on ECR. That is a misuse of taxpayer supported property.
4. Request that PA provide a RV/car dweller location with bathrooms and dump site for RV sludge.
5. Any other tax-payer issues for the city? Can we get to the point that the tax-payer who is paying the bills is going to call the shots on quality of life and safety issues. We keep reading about hostile house break-ins, car break-ins and are slipping out of control.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2019 at 6:32 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Our current concern is fires and smoke. So how is the city doing on that front. That is a business expense for any business in the city and foothills. Management of dry vegetation is a top concern. Every business and resident should be on top of that problem. I got a letter from my insurance company - Allstate - that stated that lack of attention to maintenance of property would result in a higher insurance rate. So how is the city incorporating those concerns in management of business sites within the city. When the tax rate is projected then it should be flexible to address a companies attention to maintenance of property within the city. It has to be part of the contract with any company and the tax is the leverage to mandate compliance.

As to R-1 property - people sleeping in cars and RV's are a top concern as that group of people are not responsible for the upkeep and taxes, expenses on any property in the city. Add to that companies that expect to use residential streets as a parking lot for their employees needs to be addressed. On my street we pick up food wrappers,plastic bottles, and worse cigarette butts. What possesses employees of a company - or visitors at a company to dump their car trash on the street. Add that as a tax for your non-profits as doing business in this city. No one who owns property in this city needs to pay more to monitor the reckless activity of company employees - profit or non-profit. We have a large non-profit in south PA that directs it's employees to use residential streets as a parking lot. What a mess. Non-profits need to get their acts together and taxed if they cannot monitor and control their interaction with the residents.


1 person likes this
Posted by Kenny
a resident of University South
on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:16 pm

"Our City Government in ACTION! Agenda Item #1: Hire a consultant firm."

Then why don't we recall the City Council and elect consultants in their place?


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