Bad time to raise sales tax
During this time of high unemployment, very high cost of gas, food, utilities and an uncertain economy, it does not make sense for the city of Antioch to raise its sales taxes. The city will be creating another burden on residents already struggling to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Increasing the sales tax will not be a guaranteed reliable, steady stream of revenue. During low economic activity, city revenues decrease and the probability of more layoffs of city employees remain a threat. New businesses would not view higher sales taxes as an incentive to locate in Antioch. We must attract more businesses, and in turn bring more jobs into the city.
Antioch must increase the number of police officers and community service officers to address the crime that negatively impacts our quality of life. Code enforcement activity has to be increased to address blight.
Antioch needs a steady stream of revenue and I submit that since all businesses pay a license fee to do business in Antioch -- then, non-owner occupied rental property dwellings should be included in this fee paying structure. Rental property owners are running a business and it makes sense that the city should collect a license fee from them. This would be a reliable, steady stream of income that would provide an estimated $2.5 million per year based on a fee of $20.00 per unit, per month on approximately 11,000 rental units in this city.
Two initiatives have been proposed as potential ballot measures for this November 2013. One is a half-cent sales tax increase and the other is the $20.00 per month, per unit business license fee.
Antioch voters; for a steady stream of funds for the city of Antioch, funding that will not be subject to a decrease/increase of sales taxes -- please say "Yes" to a business license fee on non-owner occupied rental properties.
Let your East County neighbors know what you think about issues of the day by writing a letter to the editor.
Send letters to Editor, The News, 1700 Cavallo Road, Antioch, CA 94509, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to Judith Prieve at 925-706-2305.
Letters should be signed. Both letters and email should include the daytime phone number and address of the writer. The information will not be printed but rather used for verification purposes.
We reserve the right to edit or not publish letters deemed potentially libelous, that are ads for local businesses or are otherwise unsuitable for a family newspaper.
Also, we are looking for guest commentaries, especially on local issues. Please send your guest commentaries to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions, call 925-779-7178.