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Guest opinion: End Portola Valley's utility taxes

Original post made on Mar 26, 2009

On Nov. 3, 2009, Portola Valley voters may face yet another election to authorize four more years of utility taxes. About four years ago, the utility taxes were extended through June 2010, but only by a very slim majority.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 12:00 AM

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Posted by Steve Toben
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Mar 26, 2009 at 8:54 am

As a member of the Portola Valley Town Council, I was troubled to read this opinion piece urging residents to oppose any consideration of renewing the Utility Users Tax (UUT) next November. Portola Valley has a long history of sound and prudent financial management.
We have almost no sales tax revenue (the financial mainstay for most cities and towns) and receive only $7 of every $100 that our residents pay in property taxes. The additional funds provided by the UUT, together with a very lean Town staff, have enabled us to avoid the financial upheavals that have plagued many neighboring communities.

The UUT has also provided funding to acquire open space.  Although the yearly amounts collected are small, over time they enable major purchases of land that enhance the quality of life for all residents.

The Town Council will take up renewal of the UUT in coming months. It is unfortunate that Mr. Wells and Mr. Engles would seek stir up public opinion to abolish this vital revenue source for open space and essential services even before the Town Council holds a meeting on the subject.

Steve Toben

Vice Mayor

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