Tonight: Budget, taxes on Menlo Park agenda

It's hard to talk about the city's budget without talking about taxes, as the Menlo Park City Council will demonstrate during its meeting on Tuesday, June 12.

The $65 million budget for fiscal year 2012-13 depends on increasing the hotel guest tax rate from 10 percent to 12 percent. According to staff calculations, passing the higher tax would raise more than $560,000 annually for the city, and bring local rates in line with neighboring cities, including Palo Alto and Redwood City.

All five Menlo Park council members agreed to put the hotel tax on the Nov. 6 ballot, which means voters make the final decision. San Mateo County failed to pass a similar measure during the June 5 election, with 52.3 percent of voters opposing the tax increase.

The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.

*View the meeting agenda


Like this comment
Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm

$65 Million for such a small town. Wow where does all that money go?

Oh, and stop asking for more tax money.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Stop copying what the governor is doing by trying to raise taxes to balance the budget. If you want people to occupy hotels, why would you raise the occupancy tax? And what is the city going to do if the tax amount falls short, tax something else? MP should get a clue from the county's most recent election which voted this tax down.

It's bad finance to balance budgets on possible tax increases.

Additionally, local area governments (cites, police, school and fire districts, etc.) need to get on board with what San Diego and San Jose just did to help contain their rising costs otherwise we will see more Stockton situations.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

If you want to find out the free market cost for any city service then just force the city to issue an RFP for that service to be provided either by other agencies or by the private sector - and let the city submit its own full burdened bid including fully funding all retirement benefits on a pay as you go basis. The city will never be the low bidder.

Note that Atherton has recently outsourced almost 80% of its non-police services and did so for a firm fixed cost with a reduction in total annual costs and without an future pension liability.

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