Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

We’ll Need The Parcel Tax This Time – My Vote Is In Favor Of Measure D

Posted by drewbendon on February 15, 2008

Every four years we are asked to vote on approving a parcel tax measure.  The parcel tax provides the City with revenue that might be used to fund essential services.  Last time we were told of the dire consequences that would result if we didn’t approve the tax and as I recall we didn’t vote the original proposal in in March, but voted a modified one in in November.  This time, though, I believe that we won’t be able to sustain services at a level we all want without a parcel tax.

In recent years, home sales have provided a significant source of revenue to City coffers in the form of real estate transfer taxes.  Last year the City Council was able not to levy the parcel tax primarily on the strength of past transfer tax revenues.  This year, however, Piedmont received, for the first time, no transfer tax revenue for sales in January (a point made by Ryan Gilbert at the Candidates Forum and apparently questioned in the Post).  And, so far, only 3 houses have closed escrow in February.  This is an inauspicious beginning and is not likely to change quickly as the Chronicle reported today that Bay Area Home sales have fallen to a 20 year low.

Voting to approve a parcel tax does not automatically mean that the tax will be levied and we can always question the City’s expenditures in the budget process.  But if we don’t vote in favor of authorizing a parcel tax we won’t have the flexibility we need.  The current level of taxation is the same as the parcel tax we approved last time adjusted for inflation (City Attorney’s Analysis of Measure D).

Drew

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