BY ALLISON LEVITSKY
Daily Post Staff Writer
In a bid to raise between $5 million and $10 million for transportation, housing and homeless services, the city of Mountain View is considering a vast increase in the business license tax that it levies to large businesses, including Google, Microsoft and LinkedIn.
At a 10 a.m. meeting at City Hall tomorrow, the City Council Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Revenue Measures will discuss three models that would redistribute the tax so that larger businesses would pay significantly more than smaller ones.
Currently most types of businesses pay a $34 flat fee, with manufacturers and software companies with more than 100 employees paying $104. Banks pay $154.
Models 1 and 2 would impose a $200 to $300 base rate for businesses with up to 50 employees. Those with 101 employees would pay between $4,030 and $5,420, those with 501 would pay $37,290 and $59,725 and those with 5,001 would pay between $462,295 and $967,290.
Under Model 3, businesses with 26 employees would owe $1,115 and businesses with more than 5,000 employees would pay between $500,100 and $1.3 million.
Committee members have said they wanted to see a general tax that allows the city to spend the funds flexibly, but to state what the funds should be spent on. Transportation, housing and homelessness programs were stated as the committee’s top funding priorities.
Council members have also met with large employers about the possible measure, including Intuit, Symantec and Samsung.
The talk of raising taxes comes at a time when the city is enjoying large budget surpluses. The city’s certified annual financial report, or CAFR, shows $258.6 million in revenues for the budget year ending June 30, 2017, an increase of $51.3 million or 24.8% over the prior fiscal year.
The auditors who put the report together said the city’s surplus was due to “significant increases for developer contribution fees and charges for services related to a high level of development activity.” The city’s balances on June 30, 2017 were $454.1 million. Some 12.5% of that, or $57 million, was listed as unassigned, making it available to meet the city’s current and future needs.