With about 11,000 people voting in Menlo Park, the Utility User's Tax passed by just 45 votes or less than one half of one percent.
Now the new city council has the OPTION of imposing up to a 2.5% tax on telephone bills, cable TV, cell phones, and internet service and a 3.5% tax on gas water and electric.
A press release from the city finance director on the day the votes were counted seemed to assume that the council would levy the full amount of the tax.
Does anyone know how much money the new tax will raise? I have heard projections from $2.5M all the way up to $4M.
Does anyone know how much money we need? We initially heard $1.85M in 2007 and then heard that we had a $1.3M surplus in 2006 and the potential to break even in 2007.
Is there a plan for how the additional money will be spent?
Should there be a public debate on this topic before the new tax is imposed?
Given the 50/50 voter split on this issue, perhaps the incoming council can set a new tone of public input and compromise on this issue.
Other opinions would be welcome.