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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Business License Fee Increase
City of San Leandro
Majority Approval Required
Pass: 9,782 / 67.4% Yes votes ...... 4,727 / 32.6% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Jul 17 11:35am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (59/59)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
To provide funding for San Leandro's general City services, including police and fire services, senior programs, youth activities, street repairs, park maintenance and library programs and hours, shall an Ordinance amending Section 2-2-500 of the San Leandro Municipal Code to increase the business license fees charged to businesses operating within the City of San Leandro be approved?
There are two parts to the business license fee. Businesses are required to pay an annual base fee to obtain the license and also pay unit fees which are calculated in different ways based on the type of business. For instance, some businesses are charged a flat fee, some are charged a fee per-employee and some are charged a fee calculated on the gross receipts that the business receives.
San Leandro's current business license tax rates are set forth in Section 2-2-500 of the San Leandro Municipal Code. These rates are at the same level as they were in 1993. The City of San Leandro has proposed Measure I that would amend Section 2-2-500 of the Municipal Code and increase the City's business license tax rates for all businesses. These increased rates will be levied on existing businesses effective January 1, 2007, unless otherwise specified.
The purpose of Measure I is to help the City manage its continuing budget deficit and to fund a variety of basic City services, which include, but are not limited to police and fire services, senior program, youth activities, street repairs, park maintenance and library programs and hours. A new "parking lot" business license fee category has been added and a rate established for that business activity. Measure I also provides that the fees shall be adjusted annually by an amount equal to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers for the San Francisco + Oakland + San Jose metropolitan area. Voter approval is not required for annual CPI adjustments.
Because the proceeds from the increase in the business license tax rates will be used for general fund purposes, Measure I requires a majority affirmative ("yes") vote for approval.
s/Jayne W. Williams
News and Analysis|
The Daily Review
|Arguments For Measure I||Arguments Against Measure I|
|Keep San Leandro vibrant, healthy and prosperous by voting YES on MEASURE I! Measure I authorizes an increase in the San Leandro business license fees paid by businesses operating within San Leandro.
San Leandro's business license rates have not increased in 13 years, and are currently among the lowest in Alameda County. Since 1993, business license revenues have risen only 2%, while the cost of living has risen more than 35%, showing a growing inequity between fees paid and the cost of services provided.
For the fifth straight year, the City of San Leandro faces a multi-million dollar budget shortfall. Continued increases in the City's operating costs + including healthcare, retirement, energy and fuel costs + have far outpaced City revenues, requiring well over $5 million in program cuts to valued City programs, including the Cherry Festival, library hours, recreation programs, street repairs, police investigations, traffic enforcement, animal control, D.A.R.E. programs and school security.
The City wants to minimize the effect of cuts on residents, but the continued shortage now requires the City to either generate additional revenue or make deeper cuts. The City has worked closely with the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce to craft a tax structure that is fair and acceptable to businesses. Strong City programs bene- fit businesses by enhancing the quality of life, improving the local business market and increasing property values. Even with the increase, San Leandro's business license fees will remain among the lowest in Alameda County.
All business license revenues stay in San Leandro and help pay for the quality police, fire, library, youth and senior services that make San Leandro a great place to live, work and do business. Join us in voting YES on MEASURE I. It's better for business and it's better for San Leandro!
s/A.J. Rosenga Jr.
President, Associated Home Owners of San Leandro
President, San Leandro Chamber of Commerce
Local Business Owner & Vice President, Broadmoor Neighborhood Association
s/Denise Bownds Kaplan
Chair, San Leandro Library-Historical Commission
Politicians habitually drift from core mission focus and favor patronage.
Several examples illustrate.
Subsidizing political friends, Castro Valley musicians, San Jose unions and generous travel hardly evidence fiscal vigilance. We need to refocus on essentials like Police/Fire rather than increase taxes.
New small businesses suffer most from rising taxes. Many small and home based businesses are on a shoestring budget. Their margin of error is tiny. Every dollar counts. Higher taxes raise the cost of each employee. Aren't businesses and our community improved when limited funds are dedicated to employee salary, technology and Yellow Page advertising rather than political largesse? Vote for fiscal responsibility and small businesses by voting "NO" on nearly tripling business taxes. Stop them before they spend again.
Chair, Libertarian Party of Alameda County
Treasurer, Libertarian Party of Alameda County
Attorney s/Flint Evans President, Lang Engineering
|San Leandro does not have a revenue shortfall. San Leandro has a SPENDING CRISIS. After years of overspending beyond the rate of inflation, San Leandro intends to raise business taxes by frightening voters with tales of apocalypse.
City Budget Document section 4.5 contains the Budget's only ten year expenditure table. 1995 total expenditures were $50,968,880. Ten year inflation increased 27%. Population grew 14%. But 2004-05 budgeted City spending has increased 118% to $111,194,000, nearly three times the rate of inflation plus population growth. Remarkably, politicians could have restricted spending addiction to 250% of the rate of inflation plus population growth and still had money left over.
Similarly, five year spending increased 54% while inflation rose 13%. Three year spending increased 23% while inflation rose 8%. Finally hitting the wall, proposed spending decreases in 2006.
Taxpayers have been more than generous with adequate funding for core City missions. 1995 public safety (police and fire) spending was 40% of total expenditures. 2005 public safety spending decreased to less than 30% of expenditures. Incredibly, politicians decreased the percent spent on safety where the public cares most.
Business taxes that are lower than surrounding areas are a City asset rather than pretext for politicians to spend even more. Successful urban districts are those with the lowest taxes and the least bureaucracy. Low-growth cities have tax burdens that are roughly 50 percent above those of high-growth cities. Increased business taxes trends in the wrong direction for our City by steering money from productive business owners in favor of nonessential bureaucracy.
Overspending politicians should return to core functions rather than threaten voters with loss of critical services unless taxes are raised. We should not give them more tax dollars when they so questionably manage funds they already have.
Opponents of the business license increase want voters to believe that the City would have money to spare if managed properly. The fact is that San Leandro is one of the leanest-run cities in the area, with a lower budget and employee count per capita than many cities. And contrary to opponents' remarks, San Leandro's public safety funding has doubled over the past decade to nearly $40 million, accounting for 55 percent of General Fund expenditures.
The fact is that San Leandro's business license rates are lower than most neighboring jurisdictions. A mediumsized retailer currently pays $950 in San Leandro, but would pay $6,900 in Hayward and $10,000 in Alameda.
The fact is that operating costs increase yearly (for example, asphalt costs for street repaving have increased by 70 percent this past year), jeopardizing valuable City services.
The City has worked closely with businesses to ensure that the fee increase has minimal impact. The majority of San Leandro businesses value our City services and recognize the need for the increase. What's more, tax rates will remain low even with the increase and do not affect the average citizen.
Why should San Leandro's residents and businesses suffer due to low business license rates? Help keep our city strong. Join San Leandro business and homeowner associations and vote "YES" on Measure I.
Business Owner and Resident
s/Denise Bownds Kaplan
Chair, San Leandro Library-Historical Commission
|Full Text of Measure I|
|The proposed ballot measure amending Chapter 2, Title 2, Section 2-2-500 of the San Leandro Municipal Code shall appear and be printed upon the ballots to be used at the Election and shall read as follows: