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Menlo Park City Councilman John Boyle is pushing for a public discussion and re-evaluation of the city's plan to enact, in April, the voter-approved utility users' tax at the maximum rate allowed.
Mr. Boyle sent a letter to Mayor Kelly Fergusson and the city's top staff requesting that the council discuss the issue as soon as possible. The Jan. 16 letter is included in the Jan. 23 City Council agenda packet, and listed on the agenda under written communication.
The letter cites four reasons, including "the recently announced news" that the city ended fiscal year 2005-06 with a $3.7 million surplus, rather than the projected deficit.
He also noted that sales tax revenue for that year was heftier than expected, and that "our economy and local real estate market continue to be healthier than prior, conservative estimates had anticipated."
The council allowed the tax to go forward, with no public discussion, at the maximum rate at its Dec. 19 meeting, with Councilman Boyle urging the council to put the matter on the agenda of a future meeting.
Voters narrowly passed -- by 65 votes -- a two-tiered tax: up to 3.5 percent on utilities (water, gas and electric bills), and 2.5 percent on communications (landline telephone, cell phone, cable TV and Internet bills). The tax is due to take effect April 1.
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