San Jose May Increase Business Tax to Avoid Ballot Measure

Prodded by a ballot measure that would increase the city’s business tax, San Jose officials trotted out an alternative plan that’s less costly to local companies.

The changes would double business tax revenue to more than $25 million a year, according to a proposal up for consideration at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

San Jose State University Professor Scott Myers-Lipton got the city talking about modernizing the business tax, which hasn’t been updated for 30 years, when he filed a ballot initiative back in January. Under his proposal, the city would remove a $25,000-a-year cap and tie the business tax to gross receipts instead of the number of employees.

Revenue, the initiative author suggested, would pay for police, fire and road repairs. The basics.

Business groups and Mayor Sam Liccardo reared into action, opposing the initiative as a potential jobs-killer. In March, the mayor proposed a compromise: have the city drum up an alternative to prevent the Myers-Lipton measure from landing on the November ballot.

For the past few months, city staffers have been working out the details of that compromise. As outlined, the compromise measure would raise business tax revenue from $12.7 million to at least $25.4 million in the first year (probably 2017).

The compromise measure would also increase the base tax, make the incremental tax more progressive, up the cap, revise the application of the tax and factor inflation into the mix.

On the other hand, Myers-Lipton’s initiative would generate more revenue—an additional $40 million a year. The university professor, who led a successful citywide minimum wage hike in 2012, claims a broad base of support for the ballot measure.

A study by city-hired consultants earlier this year found that the ballot measure would affect only 12 percent of businesses—mainly the largest employers. Meanwhile, 87 percent of small businesses would see no change in their tax bill.

Below is a look at how tax revenue would change under the city’s alternative plan.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 8.41.53 AM

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for June 21, 2016:

  • The Valley Transportation Authority is still scrambling to catch up with construction of a rapid bus route through the Alum Rock corridor after a fallout with a contractor last year over safety problems.
  • San Jose may continue giving developers a dicount on park fees beyond the originally set sunset date this month.

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: 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.


    • Probably because businesses are already taxed like crazy in California and many are struggling. If we raise taxes even more, that could result in them closing and we lose tax revenue and more people become unemployed.

        • People don’t understand that most small business are actually corporations. Most of those little Ma & Pop shops, restaurants, etc. are all corporations. You’d be surprised how many business owners are making less than minimum wage. And I didn’t say anything about individual taxes so I don’t understand that reply. I wish they taught tax prep in school so people had a better understanding.

          Also, not all individuals are paying excessive taxes, although many do, especially those who make good money. I’ve had people complain about their individual taxes and they didn’t even realize that they were actually paying no taxes because they were getting it back in a refund and sometimes with credits; such has child care credits, etc.

          • You missed an important point, the ballot measure would affect only 12 percent of businesses—mainly the largest employers. So stop griping about small business owners.

          • Wrong most small business are NOT corporations, they pay they on the owner’s personal income tax, you are full of non-sense, do some research before posting

        • > oh yeah, Google, Apple, Facebook and the rest of the Silicon Valley tech giants are really “struggling” gimme a break !

          Sure Tyler, Google, Apple, and Facebook think nothing of paying more taxes.

          Just try raising their taxes to 100 percent and see what happens.

          OUTTA HERE!

  1. This will really help the California business climate

    Got any other ideas to make the business climate any worse?

    Oh, I know,.You could look the other way when political agitators orchestrate riots and beat up people attending political rallys.

    How’s that report to the City Council coming along, Sam? It’s only been three weeks now.

    One of the nice things about being rock bottom in business confidence is that another two or three riots won’t make any difference to your leadership stature. You’re a known quantity.

  2. It’s time to sunset all failed programs/initiatives that suck up tax dollars with no positive results. Just one example: self-described homeless advocates have proposed one solution after another for DECADES NOW, all of which have failed miserably, yet they still receive taxpayer money year after year to fund their worthless programs. it’s way past time to put sunset provisions in these failed funding opportunities, which are opportunities only for the folks who work in whatever feel good programs the Democrats who run this city and this state dream up. Let’s start with 24 months, in which these do-gooders, who actually do no good for anything but their own bank accounts, must present data that shows their latest hare brained idea actually produces quantifiable positive results. Basically, most of these feel good programs are enablers for their constituencies and the source of income for those who work in the programs, most of whom could never hold down a real job that actually produces something of value. It would not surprise me in the least to learn that more of the taxpayer dollars go to the folks who work in these programs, rather than to their supposed clients.

    • Good observation, Michael, regarding who probably ends up with most of the funds, it’s always the administration of various organizations.
      Why isn’t there a poll tax in San Jose? Seems anxious recipients of programs or voters who’s intentions may be well placed, but often are not property owners.

  3. And it would not surprise me in the least to learn that if taxpayer dollars went directly to the clients, you would bitch about that too.

    What do you suggest we do with people that can’t afford $3000 a month to rent an apartment? If they would just work harder they could afford the rent! Oh that’s right when the rent goes up, they are just supposed to move to Brentwood and drive in to pour your coffee.

    Such a pain these “clients” are.

    • > What do you suggest we do with people that can’t afford $3000 a month to rent an apartment?

      Organize a SWAT team, break into the landlord’s home, hold a gun to his head, piston whip his wife and children, and order him to reduce the rent to $12.75 per month.

      Or, invite the renter to live in a place where the rent ISN’T $3000 month to rent an apartment.

      There. That wasn’t so hard.

    • No-one is ENTITLED to a 3 grand a month apartment, Jill. No-one is ENTITLED to have someone else make up their shortfall. Let me guess Jill, you’re a Millenial for Bernie, who’ll give everyone what he calls a “free” college education, but what is in fact a college education paid for by someone else. I believe it was Margaret Thatcher who quipped: “The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of OTHER PEOPLES’ MONEY.” America was once a land of OPPORTUNITY, where you reaped the benefits of your hard work. That’s why people flocked here for 2 centuries. Now it is filled with lazy, worthless, self-entitled, demanding people like you who just want more free sh*t from the government. But whatever the government GIVES you, Jill, it has taken away from someone else who worked hard to EARN it. Move to Venezuela, Jill, and see the results of unbridled socialism.

      • I never said one was entitled to a 3 grand apartment. But I do believe one is entitled to work for shelter. If the city would allow me to cut down a tree and build a little shack I would. That was how it was in the good old tribal days. (bubble…..i’m beginning to like the idea of going back to the tribe…maybe i’d be able to live for free on the land and we wouldn’t charge each other for it since we didn’t do one damn thing to produce land….I would pick berries for the tribe and have a roof over my head without being told to move!)

        It is the land that has been taken from me by previous generations and now by corporations. Thomas Paine argued that since those that came before me have privatized the land leaving me with what amounts to a “taking”, then we should have some safeguards in place to account for the taking of land and thus the opportunity for shelter.

        Do you believe that monopolies are a threat to capitalism? Corporations are monopolizing land (a product that they did not produce) and profiting from a basic need that humans have for shelter. Pray tell Johnmichael, am I allowed to chop down any tree I see and make myself shelter on land anywhere in the United States? No, I am no longer able to do this. So, unlike a bird that is born and looks for twigs, picks a tree and makes a nest, I am in fact a slave to those that came before me and scooped up the land. Read Agrarian Justice by Thomas Paine. It’s quite revolutionary.

        But I know…just move right? That’s what was done for over two hundred years. Move west. Now we all move East instead of West. But, there will come a time when our children ask us why they must pay with their lives to have shelter over their head when birds simply freely live by gathering twigs and finding a tree. Are humans so dumb as to not understand that we are moving toward a time when hard work is not enough to conquer the demands of increasing dividend checks for the landowning class? Are you so short sighted Johnmichael to think that revolutions happen only in the past? Do you not think that a revolution of some kind is upon us?

        Governments primary role in any society is for security. If in fact all the land is taken up by corporations that exploit the fact there is no more land to buy and nowhere for shelter, at what point is my working hard a mute point?

        Your capitalistic mindset will soon be tempered by a rising class of angry renters that are pushed out of their homes, schools, and lives. I for one am ready to fight for a chance to keep stable in a very simple place to stay out of the cold. It makes me quite sick to send all my money to some lady that lives in newport beach while I stay here in San Jose to be near my aging father and help him at the end of his life. I assure you when he passes, I will move.

        If my father lived in Venezuela, I would be there. But, he worked for IBM here in San Jose for 42 years and is now at the end of his life. He gave me a good life and I intend to stay here and give him back what he gave me.

  4. Jill,


    The funny thing is, making an educated guess, that the teeny, predominantly white male crew (with a sprinkling of likely older married woman whose husband’s have done well) here who hold those so called clients in such utter scorn (as if those ‘clients’ aren’t the ones bearing the brunt of sales tax – and the indirect property and small business tax increases filtered down to them – as a percentage of their income), are of an age to: be gainfully retired; early-retired investors who made a killing on inhuman housing expense increases; or quite lucky enough (or looked the other way at Corporate Corruption and discrimination enough) to not be discriminated against age wise (which has resulted in a stunning Nationwide increase in suicides which are repeatedly tied to people losing their shirts as a consequence of utter financial corruption and wage and job rigging [2]). That crew never ever acknowledge the fact that – unlike just a decade or so ago, where a person might have a chance at regaining some ability to keep a roof over their heads and eat a proper meal at least – things are now so unequal [3] that when misfortune hits a person, there is utterly no safety net remaining. The refusal from the same old crew here to even acknowledge these realities is both Suspect, and, Stunning in its utter self absorption and cruelty.

    Certainly Silicon Valley’s State, County and Federal Politicians are so thoroughly owned by the largest: race, gender, class and age discriminating; non taxpaying – in any meaningful, representative way – Multinational Oligarchies such as: Lockheed [4]; Intel; Cisco; HP; Microsoft; Oracle; Amazon; Google; Apple; Facebook; Palantir; Tesla; [MS]LinkedIn; Uber; etcetera; etcetera; etcetera (some call that Fascism, I certainly do) that they won’t be doing a thing to reinstitute a safety net until they are absolutely forced to; but the same old crew spends their days posting here punching down on the most unfortunate, a hallmark of Fascism.

    [1] 06/17/16 Age Discrimination on LinkedIn Hitting ever Younger Ages?

    [2] Just for a local example, there were 17 or so Caltrain suicides last year predominantly Adults, Not Students, out of 19 Caltrain Pedestrian deaths between San Jose and San Francisco.

    [3] LIVABLE WAGE jobs in all age brackets having been utterly slaughtered, in Silicon Valley.

    [4] I’d love a thousand dollars for every maliciously early retired from Lockheed person I’ve met or heard of; Another thousand dollars every time some highly questionable – questionably paid – Silicon Valley Non Profit Lauds Lockheed and all the other, above noted, Silicon Valley Robber Barons as savior philanthropists; and another thousand dollars for every lower level employee who lost their shirts for pointing out Corporate Discrimination, Corruption, and Book Cooking.

    • Diane and Jill:

      All of the existing housing in the Bay Area is occupied.

      You want someone to drop everything and build a new house for someone who doesn’t want to pay the rent that other people pay to live in the Bay Area? That’s selfish.

      Lack of housing can be remedied easily by increased disposable income. Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton showed us the way for increasing our personal income:

      1.) Read the Wall Street Journal and learn how to trade in cattle futures. I understand that Ms. Clinton quickly turned $1,000 into $100,000.

      2.) Learn how to give speeches to bankers. I understand that Ms. Clinton frequently knocks down $250,000 or more for a 30 minute speech to, for instance, Goldman Sachs.

      This is just a sampling. With a little initiative and effort, Bay Area homeless will soon find themselves looking down on $3,000 per month broom closets over at the transit village. Elegant living in toney Chappaqua is within the reach of every Bay Area Democrat voter.

    • Hate to put a damper on your rant blaming the country’s problems on white men and greedy corporations but your “educated guess” is totally off. I’m a Hispanic single mother of four who grew up on the east side of San Jose and I still reside there today. I haven’t had a husband since 1994 when I had to get a restraining order to protect myself and my children from his abuse and drug use. I worked at near minimum wage while I went to school so I could make a LIVABLE WAGE. I raised and educated four hard-working intelligent children without taking a dime from welfare, food stamps, or any other charity. In fact, I got a loan from the bank to make it through those tough years. My children all worked since they were teenagers to help out and like myself, are still hard working and productive today.

      My opinions are based on my own life experiences and facts. People are always complaining and want someone else to pay for this or that but those same people would never dream of working for free, volunteering, etc.

      As previously posted, California is one of the worst states to run a business and if we keep trying to get every nickel we can from them, they will move to another state or county or go bankrupt.

      • > I raised and educated four hard-working intelligent children without taking a dime from welfare, food stamps, or any other charity. In fact, I got a loan from the bank to make it through those tough years. My children all worked since they were teenagers to help out and like myself, are still hard working and productive today.



        In this society, raising four kids that turn out well is an ESPECIALLY remarkable achievement. As soon as they reach 40, I would let them have their smartphones for 30 minutes a day.

        I love you!

        Donald Trump loves you!

        America loves you!

        • My children buy their own smartphones thank you and as I stated earlier have been paying their own way since teenagers. Also, I doubt Donald would love me…I am not particularly fond of him either.

  5. I would love another thousand dollars for everyone who has lost their shirts – despite considerable skills and very best efforts to do no harm – and are facing homelessness; who have been Pre$cribed as genetically mentally ill – versus financially and consequentially mentally (consequently it also becomes physically) abused to a point where they are near forced to sleep on cement and understandibly in a near total state of FEAR, which has never been their normal state of being.

    Pre$cribedas genetically mentally ill, to both obscure reality, and make an inhuman profit off of the $ubscribed Treatment! which is then forced upon them if they want to keep a roof over their head, and get a new Jawb, no matter what slave wage is paid.

  6. I have some comments/responses I made yesterday evening, still stuck in spam . If the same old crew is going to sling ugly stereotypes about people having a hard time and misread what someone writes over and over again, it’s only fair that people are allowed to respond to it.

  7. I guess my comments of yesterday were somehow vaporized, Ill try again:

    “Julie Sanchez,”

    Was going to address your supposed damper – which in fact puts words I didn’t say in my my mouth and does not at all address my explicit remarks about people working here for decades full time, or retired, who are no longer able to live here, and who brought up welfare and food stamps ? not that there is anything wrong at all with those safety nets – point by point, but when I got to the part of your supposed bank loan to make it through those tough years, I ended up with the distinct impression that you’re perhaps someone’s sock puppet and not real at all.

    Decades ago I had a just attained a well paying full time professional job, after putting myself through college and could not get a bank loan, at my bank of quite a few years, for just a few thousand to buy a used car when my old car was totalled by someone backending me. I’ve never heard of anyone getting a loan from the bank to make it through those tough years. I Don’t believe you, whoever “you” are.

    • Wow, you really are a Mean Girl. First you make bigoted remarks towards white men and now you’re mad that I’m not the kept lady whose husband has done well as your “educated guess” suggested. Do you hate every person who has a different opinion than yours? Are you as nasty in person or do you find courage behind the keyboard? You are nothing to me so whether you believe me or not is irrelevant. I hope you’ve had a chance to work on your poor credit score. Let me give you some advice: live beneath your means and always pay your debts on time. Banks actually do give loans to people with good credit. How could you have known?

      • Julie, Diane doesnt know any better. Remember its a disease. They cannot help themselves. Deflect, blame, name call and rationalize. Buckle up for 4 more years of the same ol same ol….

        • True. At least we can be optimistic for Britain. They’ve made a historical move to take their country back.

  8. Another comment that never posted yesterday:


    How conveniently you never, EVER, respond to the fact that many have been living here for decades –some (widowed females and males), likely longer than you – Retired, or, WORKING FULL TIME – ALL OF A SUDDEN FACING HOMELESSNESS.

    You are despicable, but then I knew that when I brought up Operation Paperclip (Regarding placing fully fledged Nazis in NASA (just for one), and you refused to even acknowledge how exactly VENAL that was.

    If you want to rail about clients sucking your likely brutally connived, if not utterly thieved, profits, you might start by demanding that NAZIS pay back those Social Security Checks they received for closing in on a century:

    10/20/14 The Ex-Nazis Collecting Social Security – They reportedly received millions of dollars in government benefits even after being expelled from the United States
    “Since 1979,” the AP analysis found, “at least 38 of 66 suspects removed from the country kept their Social Security benefits,” the report read. These weren’t lightweights either. Suspected activities of the recipients range from participation in the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto to the use of slave labor and the round-up and killing of thousands of Jews. At least four of these men are said to still be alive and receiving money from American taxpayers.

    • > You are despicable, but then I knew that when I brought up Operation Paperclip (Regarding placing fully fledged Nazis in NASA (just for one), and you refused to even acknowledge how exactly VENAL that was.

      Wow! This is an interesting concept.

      Condemning people for things they DON’T comment on.

      Hillary and the dominant progressive media are going to have a HUGE backlog.

      Where should we have them start? Hugo Black and the KKK? Margaret Sanger and the Negro Project? The Molotov-von Ribbentrop Pact? Julius and Ethel Rosenberg? Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss? The Venona Papers? Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Barack Obama?

  9. The last of my comments, made yesterday, which never posted (sigh, and now I have yet another unposted response from a short while ago, to multiple comments directed at me; floating about somewhere -comment number 1636142, for anyone trying to figure out why some comments disappear; so much for Sly Con Valley Nanosecondry Communication when a nobody has something to express), which was to clarify a footnote reference in a comment I had made yeterday, showing above, at 2:30PM PDT, on June 21st, 2016 :

    Sorry, footnote [1], from my above comment:

    [1] 06/17/16 Age Discrimination on LinkedIn Hitting ever Younger Ages?

    referred to this:

    … or quite lucky enough (or looked the other way at Corporate Corruption and discrimination enough) to not be discriminated against age wise …

  10. Julie [sjoutsidethebubble?, JohnMichael O’Connor (! ya know they’re true, passive aggressive assholes when they use all three given names to punch down on the suffering)?, etcetera] SockPuppet Sanchez],

    I had excellent, flawless credit, and was white with an engineer dad with patents to his name, which could have – quite unfairly – opened up all kinds of doors to him and me, had we desired to be snakes, which is how I know that “you,” whatever “you” are, are an utter LIAR regarding getting:

    a loan from the bank to make it through those tough years.

  11. Julie Sanchez,

    Banks do not give loans to poor people (unless they are proven successful thieves or con artists I guess) to get through hard times, no matter how good their credit is.

    You are lying Julie Sanchez. My credit was flawless when I was refused a very small loan with the promise of future income. a loan from the bank to make it through those tough years.

    • Funny you would call me poor. I’ve never thought of myself as poor nor did I ever say I was poor. I’ve always counted my blessings and was thankful that I was able to work and provide for my family. .Just because there was a period in my life when I had to work a low paying job so I could go to school, I knew it was temporary and that things would improve. Banks do give loans…that’s what they do…duh. Now you really searched my story looking for anything you can disproof because apparently that’s who you are, a miserable person who feels they have to put down others to lift themselves up. Not sure if you’re a liar yourself so you assume everyone else is one too or if your life just sucks that much that you find joy in fighting with everyone. Hope things get better for you.

  12. Julie Sanchez™,

    For the record, needing a loan to get by, while you’re doing everything possible to be careful with your budget is being poor (it’s also considered under the poverty level in legal terms); but how could I be calling you poor when I’ve already noted that I don’t believe you are who you say you are?

    You’re the one picking at straws – with nothing but ill intended, utterly disingenous rhetoric and a pretence of utter lack of reading ability. You’re the one who took one sentence I wrote, in my footnoted comment above, totally out of context (just for one thing how does the adjective Teeny = All ), and then didn’t address one of numerous valid points I made, because you can’t.

    The comment wasn’t even directed to single woman with kids, but you went on, on, and on in a perfectly ancient and worn out cliche about how you’ve managed to make it! and the good you’ve done for yourself and those around you as if everyone whose having a hard time now aren’t taking care of older Parents and family members, and just as decent a human being as you (if you were actually even a real person).

    As I’ve noted numerous times now, I don’t believe you are anything you say you are. I think you are more likely to be a Sock Puppet of one of the teeny group of White Males, such as sjoutsidethebubble who love nothing more than to punch down on people in the Valley who can no longer afford their rents, despite their best efforts.

    • I guess no one can pull one on you; you’re just too smart! I must be a “white” privileged male that hasn’t worked hard my entire life any doesn’t deserve any success or to reap any rewards. Yeah, let’s tax the hell out of me, and any businesses owned by fellow “white” Americans, especially those who aren’t drowning in “white” guilt. Let’s keep punishing the hard working and see how long it takes them to break. Oh and btw, I’m done here…you’re physco.

  13. > dont pee your pants nobody is suggesting taxing them 100%


    You haven’t been paying attention:

    There are LOTS of people saying that corporations shouldn’t be making any profits: Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Vlad Lenin, Joe Stalin, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren.

    “Fair share” = 100%

  14. SJ Inside needs better user engagement. It’s the same idiots making the same idiotic comments and having the same endless arguments on every damn post.

    • Dear Mr. GETREAL:

      > SJ Inside needs better user engagement.

      Can you give is some idea of the reality that you would like more of?

      More Kim Kardashian?

      More Caitlin Jenner?

      More Miley Cyrus?

      More Milo Yiannopoulos?

      More Justin Bieber?

      More Justin Timberlake?

      More Justin Trudeau?

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