NAIOP Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), and the Palo Alto Chamber are working together in a coalition to fight the City of Palo Alto’s proposed square footage tax. After a second round of polling by the city, residents are not fans of the proposed tax.

The City of Palo Alto has conducted its second poll and the numbers were not as promising as the first poll for the city’s proposed tax increase.

On April 18th they held a meeting to review the polls as well as the Finance Committee’s recommendations. The Council Finance Committee recommended that the City Council receive a progress report on the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Plan and consider the ballot measures outlined below for voter review November 2022.

Since the Council could not agree to a final number, because the Finance Committee’s recommendations were not in alignment with the polling results, the Council will revisit and discuss the rates on April 25thNAIOP Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), and the Palo Alto Chamber encourage you to speak up against the tax increase by attending the meetingJoin Here

Proposed ballot measures for November 2022 Palo Alto ballot:

  1. Affirmation of current Gas Utility Transfer at 18% of the gas utility’s gross receipts for general government purposes.
  2. A Business License Tax with the following characteristics:
    • Tax is determined based on a business’s occupied square footage in Palo Alto.
    • Exemption for hotels (businesses that collect and remit Temporary Occupancy Tax).
    • Exemption for groceries (requires a given % of sq ft. of food sales to qualify as a grocery).
    • Exemption for seasonal businesses operating less than 90 days.
    • Exemption for first 5,000 sq ft.
    • Tax rate of $0.20/sq ft per year
    • Tax to be due beginning January 1, 2024
    • Three-year phase-in provision: reduced monthly rate of $0.12/sq ft for calendar year 2024; rate of $0.15/sq ft for calendar year 2025; and full rate of $0.20/sq ft beginning calendar year 2026
    • Beginning in 2027 and each year thereafter, tax rate to increase by the CPI, capped at 6% per annum with excess CPI carrying over to future years.

Questions or interested in learning more? Contact our office at [email protected].

The Council is proposing is a tax increase rate that is not even supported by their own voters.