Palo Alto banks on business tax for housing, transportation projects | News
If Palo Alto voters approve a new business tax in November, affordable housing and transportation improvements will likely absorb a large share of the revenues that the city collects, the City Council agreed on Monday.
The council is still refining the tax measure, which members have been discussing for years and which continues to face broad opposition from leaders of the business community. The effort further advanced on Monday, when the council reached broad consensus on some of the parameters of the new tax, including uses for the funding.
Over two public hearings[ and a long procession of votes, the council coalesced around a tax measure that roughly mirrors the one that was recommended last month by its Finance Committee. The tax would exempt all small businesses, defined as those with 5,000 square feet of space or less, as well as supermarkets, hotels and seasonal businesses that are in operation for less than 90 days.