Council to Discuss Samsung Incentives

UPDATE: The Samsung item on this week’s agenda has been deferred to March 26.

An incentives package designed to convince Samsung to make San Jose home to its new North American research headquarters goes before the City Council on Tuesday for final approval.

The city is offering the global semiconductor corporation $500,000 for new equipment, another $500,000 in utility tax rebates, a $3.9 million discount on traffic impact fees, sped-up permitting and a reduced-rate construction tax.

Samsung plans to expand its 300,000-square-foot headquarters, located at 3655 N. First St. in San Jose, to a 680,000-square-foot campus with two 10-story towers. Instead of employing 370 people, the new facility would be large enough for at least 2,000 employees.

Other items of note from the San Jose City Council agenda for March 19, 2013:

• The state-shuttered Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency has $90.35 million of variable-rate debt to deal with. The city’s asking JP Morgan to extend its letters of credit for the combined 1996 and 2003 bond debt, which has steadily jumped in interest and is prone to increased rates any time the city’s credit rating gets knocked down.

A memo from the city’s Director of Finance, Julia Cooper, says the situation “demonstrates a long-term relationship with JPMorgan extending for nearly 20 years, but also highlights the increasing market complexity of managing variable rate debt coupled with increasing credit concerns of JPMorgan on the [redevelopment] agency’s financial position.”

To address those concerns, the city in 2011 offered up 18 properties as collateral for the money owed, including the California Theatre, the Billy DeFrank Center and the Marriott and Plaza hotels.

• After months of discussion, the city will consider adopting a final ordinance to extend a business tax amnesty to past-due debtors. The council will also consider granting retroactive amnesty to police officers who would otherwise have owed for working side jobs in traffic patrol, security or other gigs that require them to don city-issued uniforms.

• A property at the corner of Sunny Oaks Drive and Blossom Hill Road deemed surplus by the city is about to get sold for $135,000 to a Mr. J Jesus Magana. Money from the sale of the 0.14-acre property goes straight to the city’s general fund. The city wrote it off as surplus after no developers expressed an interest in building low-income housing there.

• Another tiny parcel—this one only .112 acres off of South King Road—will go for $50,000 to Kevin Vu. The city got this little slice of land in the 1970s, leftover from a road-widening project. Vu plans to build a parking lot on it.

PG&E gave the city $1.12 million to fund the city’s Silicon Valley Energy Watch, an effort to educate the public about how to save energy. The city program targets hard-to-reach commercial and residential buildings in need of energy upgrades. Between 2010 and 2012, the city helped reduce enough energy to power 4,000 homes for a whole year, saving Santa Clara County customers $5.3 million on their annual energy utility bills.

• The City Manager’s Office will provide a labor negotiations update.

WHAT: San Jose City Council meeting
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: Office of the City Clerk, 408.535-1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

8 Comments

  1. Samsung reported a record $6.6 BILLION in profits last quarter. Meanwhile homeless people are setting up open tent cities.  Clearly the best idea is to give the corporations more money.

  2. I’m confused. After finally coming around and accepting the city council’s core values: that strength is our diversity; that sheltering illegal aliens enriches our city; that public works and public safety are of secondary importance; that our priorities are sheltering the homeless, providing monuments to foreign cultures, and relieving favored classes of families of their traditional responsibilities (paying the rent, providing care for their young children and elders, etc.), why has that same council turned its back on these core values in its dealings with Samsung? Why is cold-hard cash suddenly being touted at the top of the list of this city’s charms?

    Could it be that our elected officials know they’d be dead in the water should they dish up for the folks at Samsung the same politically-correct slop they’ve been serving us taxpayers? Could it be that our leaders, despite their moronic countenance and horrific track record, actually realize this city’s endlessly-touted core values are nothing more than local political gimmicks? That ethnic diversity is, as has been made evident in so many crime-ridden and riot-torn cities, a serious detriment to progress and civility? That the presence of a population of unskilled and uneducated foreign law-breakers in a community can deter high-tech investment? That the maintenance of traditional city services is paramount? That a government that neglects its responsibilities while squandering its budget on feel-good frivolities and vote-buying might be viewed as undependable to outside investors?

    Those of us who’ve for decades longed for a city council that would “get real” and run this city with the bottom-line commitment demanded of the corporate world must today suffer at the sight of our retched city council actually acknowledging the existence of that coveted bottom line… in its dealings with Samsung. And for what? A few hundred jobs for bottom-line living, Bay Area commuters? A few million dollars in future revenue, destined to be blown buying the next block of partisan voters or funding the next redevelopment favor?

    This city doesn’t need Samsung’s researchers, it needs its management team.

    • > After finally coming around and accepting the city council’s core values: that strength is our diversity; . . . .

      Mr. Finfan:

      I belive that “strength is our diversity” was a core value of Attila the Hun.

      I think the correct San Jose core value is “diversity is our strength”.

      I’m not quite sure what it’s supposed to mean, though.  Probably something like “the fewer white people the better.”

  3. Lou, strange you should suggest that San Jose has a policy of “the fewer white people the better.”  The San Jose Mercury News has had a policy of mocking and slandering the diverse white Americans, and suggesting they take up residence elsewhere, and such has happened.  Somehow the Merc doesn’t write about their pushing white Americans out, and how proud they must be of the success of their campaign of defamation.

    San Jose City Hall has also taken part in the effort to say “buh-bye” to its white populace since former Mayor Susan Hammer’s administration.  Written evidence appeared in a publication (“Film Clips”) paid for by your tax dollars in its September 2001 issue in which Eric Eisen commented, “God, I’m sick of white people.” and “Suddenly it’s high tide at Honky Beach.”  Something about this appealed to City Hall along with other measures that pushed the diverse white Americans to get out of San Jose.  More examples on request.

    • There may be something to what you’re saying, but I don’t think it has anything to do with color.  It has to do with money.  Most people with money move to the municipalities on the West Side or in the lower Peninsula.  Many of those areas are increasingly Asian.

      You can see it in the school districts.  Except for Almaden and the part of San Jose that is in the Cupertino School District, the schools in San Jose are like the municipal government.  Mostly poor to mediocre.