Measures M & N easily win

Palo Alto city officials expected Measure M and Measure N to easily win Tuesday night, but the margins of victory were larger than anticipated.

Mesaure M, which would raise the city's hotel tax from 10 percent to 12 percent, won with 80 percent of the vote.

Measure N, an advisory measure to approve construction of a 2.5-million-gallon water reservoir under El Camino Park, had 91 percent of the vote.

Neither measure had any opposition.

"I'm surprised," City Council member Peter Drekmeier said of the victory margins.

The increase in the hotel tax will generate about $1.5 million a year to the city.

The importance of building an emergency water supply for the city was underscored by the 5.6 South Bay earthquake a week ago.

The city's water comes from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in the Sierra, a connection that could be disrupted by an earthquake.

"The small earthquake was a reminder," Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto said. "The city is anxious to get it going."

  • Complete local election results

  • -- Don Kazak


    Like this comment
    Posted by Casey
    a resident of Midtown
    on Nov 7, 2007 at 8:26 am

    Raising the hotel tax from 10% to 12% is one way to boost revenues. However, increasing the number of hotels allows the city to widen its tax base instead of just hiking the tax on the same small population of people. Hope this doesn't spark a vicious cycle where fewer people stay at Palo Alto hotels, more Palo Alto hotels close, and we have to keep increasing the tax to keep revenue neutral.

    Like this comment
    Posted by Marvin
    a resident of Charleston Gardens
    on Nov 7, 2007 at 8:30 am

    More hotels=more traffic. Is this what the city wants?

    City leaders and neighborhood leaders are constantly whining about too much traffic.

    City needs to decide soon which way it wants to go--you cannot have vistors/shoppers/tourists without traffic

    Like this comment
    Posted by Another Tax Payer
    a resident of Old Palo Alto
    on Nov 7, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Well, I voted against the tax increase precisely for the reasons stated by Casey. People won't want to shop or stay here if it's cheaper to go to Menlo Park, Los Altos, or Mountain View, all of which are close by and have lovely downtowns. So fewer car trips can be achieved afterall, with the price that eventually will be paid for with a less vibrant community.

    (As it is, when we have guests from out of town, they rarely stay in Palo Alto hotels because we already have an expensive zip code. They just get in their rental cars and *drive* to tour Stanford's campus.)

    Like this comment
    Posted by Realist
    a resident of Professorville
    on Nov 9, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Addressing the previous three postings. First of all, when was the last time you called a hotel to find out what their tax rate was before you committed to staying? We are a society of convenience the tax rate means that we are paying $2 to $3 more per room night, so you think that the average person will drive to Menlo or Mt. View to save that amount? What about the gasoline prices?

    If you don't have the visitors you wont have the hotel or sales tax to fix the streets that you use, so the traffic generation should not be the only worry. We have one "regular" grocery store, Safeway, in town for a reason. We generate more trips by going to Menlo and Mt. View to do our shopping to bigger stores, not to mention Costco and Home Depot in other Cities. We need to reevaluate our non-in-my-back-yard attitude, if we want things to get fixed.

    Don't put all on City Leaders - we are all in the picture!!

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