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.