Editorial: Yes on Measure C to update utility tax


Palo Alto currently generates about 7 percent of its general-fund revenue, or some $11 million, from the 5 percent utility tax that was approved by voters in 1987.

Measure C updates the ordinance by broadening the portion of the tax targeting landline telephone bills to reflect all forms of telephone communication services, including cell phones, "voice over internet protocol" and other technologies that enable point-to-point communications.

The change is intended to be revenue neutral, and includes a reduction in the telecommunications tax rate from 5 percent to 4.75 percent and the elimination of some discounts for large volume utility users that were part of the original utility-tax measure.

The only opposition are taxpayer advocacy groups and the Libertarian Party.

Most other cities with a utility tax have already updated its provisions for today's communication technologies. Vote "yes" on Measure C.

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1 person likes this
Posted by not yet
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 31, 2014 at 8:39 am

The problem with this measure is that it comes at the same time that the city wants to reduce payments to the school district, which is the purpose the utility tax was first agreed.

Unfortunately, the city is now trying to convert this agreement into a cash cow for the general fund.

Before voting to change this tax, the city needs to clarify what and how it is going to spend the money on. Until then, they need to stay with the status quo. Once decided we can have a real debate on whether to keep, increase, reduce or remove the tax completely.

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