Tonight: Parcel tax on Atherton council agenda

Resolutions assessing Atherton's annual parcel tax at the maximum rate and approving small salary increases for town staff, including the city manager, are on the June 18 City Council agenda.

Voters in November renewed the parcel tax for another four years, although a number of residents and elected officials are increasingly advocating that the town find alternative methods of raising revenue.

The tax, when charged at the maximum rate, costs most property owners in town $750 per parcel and raises about $1.86 million a year. The town has relied heavily through the years on revenue from the tax, along with property taxes, because Atherton has no commercial tax base.

The council must approve charging the tax each year, and can set its rate lower than the voter-approved maximum. At a study session earlier this month, Councilman Bill Widmer argued that, because of the town's robust revenue stream in recent times, the council should lower the rate for the coming year. He suggested a 25 percent reduction.

Although Councilman Rick DeGolia appeared ready to support a reduction, he ultimately sided with Mayor Cary Wiest and Councilwoman Elizabeth Lewis, and the town staff was directed to come back to the June 18 meeting with a resolution keeping the tax at the maximum rate.

All council members indicated they would consider lowering the rate in the future, after master plans that may identify needed projects are complete, and the council has completed its review of revenue alternatives.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers at 94 Ashfield Road, in the Town Center.


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Posted by Member
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 17, 2014 at 6:50 pm

PLEASE use the funds from the Parcel Tax to improve infrastructure and deferred maintenance projects! This tax passed by the super-majority required, so make good use of these funds. Capital improvements are essential.

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Posted by Broken promise
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 17, 2014 at 11:47 pm

The promise made by Lewis and Wiest was that if the parcel tax proved more than needed, it would be rebated to residents. What happened to that promise? What happened to the Almanac calling them on that promise?

But instead, first up to snatch a portion of the money is George Rodericks, with another huge raise given by the troika in exchange for him agreeing to ignore his job duties and give the cops a sweetheart deal, as required by the APOA when they gave their endorsements and donations to Lewis and Wiest.

See how corruption winds up in a never-ending spiral hurting the taxpayer?

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 18, 2014 at 8:06 am

"See how corruption winds up in a never-ending spiral hurting the taxpayer?"

You're the ones that keep insisting you need your own police department when you could get the same service for half the cost. And it would have the added benefit that your elected officials wouldn't be beholden to a police officers association. Seems like a pretty obvious choice to me.

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Posted by Broken promise
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 18, 2014 at 1:29 pm

To the Almanac: have you calculated the proposed percentage increase for Rodericks? Do you think that qualifies as a "small salary increase"?

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