The pandemic and the slowdown in the economy has not slowed down cities from trying to increase taxes and in particular taxing property owners. The City of Palo Alto is revisiting tax increases.

Prior to COVID-19, they were exploring a head count tax to all businesses but in the most recent public meetings, they are exploring a square footage tax instead. A square footage tax would either be a property assessment tax based on the property’s square footage or a business tax to the business based on the square footage of the building leased. Either way, the city has given the green light to staff to hire consultants to survey residents and to explore raising up to $30 million in tax revenues. The tax increase will need to go before the voters in November of 2022 but there is a considerable amount work that will need to be done until the city council votes on June 22 to have it added to the November 2022 ballot.
The NAIOP Silicon Valley Public Policy Committee has convened a sub-committee to learn about the impact and options to ensure the our members’ concerns heard by the City Council.