To help combat its nearly $20 million deficit, the City of Santa Clara will hold a Virtual Community Meeting on Fiscal Sustainability and Maintaining Essential City Services on Thursday, May 19, at 6 p.m.
The City Council is hoping to receive feedback from the public on various revenue options it’s exploring to maintain essential city services – particularly modernizing the city’s Business License Tax.
The current Business License Tax model was last updated in 1992. It charges companies $15 to $500 based on the industry sector and the number of company employees. It brings in $900,000 in revenue annually, or 0.4 percent of Santa Clara’s general fund. Large companies based in the city, like Intel, Nvidia, and Advanced Micro Devices, currently have their license tax capped at $500 a year.
The city is proposing a new business tax structure requiring companies to start paying a fixed “headcount” fee per employee, which would raise millions of dollars more from the city’s larger employers.
The Council will decide on the proposed new tax structure later in the summer. If council members approve it, they will place it on the November ballot. In January, the city sponsored a poll that found that 64 percent of voters would support changing the tax structure.
Several other budget tightening measures are currently under consideration. City staff members have proposed hiring freezes, labor concessions, cutting outside services, and creating a general obligation bond. The city is also considering placing a new utility user tax on the ballot. In January, Councilmember Suds Jain even proposed looking into options to utilize the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park next to Levi’s Stadium to generate more revenue.
The Virtual Meeting Details
Date/Time: Thursday, May 19, 2022, 6 p.m.
Zoom Link: https://santaclaraca.zoom.us/j/81322756770
Webinar ID: 813 2275 6770
Or Join by Phone: Dial US: +1 669 900 6833
Call: (408) 615 – 2210