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Almanac editorial: Renew Portola Valley utility tax

Original post made by News Guy, another community, on Oct 23, 2009

(This editorial ran in the Oct. 21, 2009, issue of The Almanac.)

For those who volunteer and work for Portola Valley's town government, passage of Measures P, Q and R in the Nov. 3 election is viewed as absolutely necessary if the town is to maintain its current level of services.

The measures reauthorizes the town's 24-year-old utility tax that costs the average homeowner about $250 a year. The 4.5 percent assessment on utilities, including gas, electric and water, would be used to keep the government running, while income from an additional 2 percent tax would be funneled into the town's fund to purchase open space.

The tax is opposed by Ed Wells, the town's first treasurer, and some of his fellow conservatives, who say the town has plenty of money and could easily survive without the tax income, a case he makes in the adjoining guest opinion.

But regardless of Mr. Wells' numbers, the town's budget director and top administrator, as well as council members and former mayors, disagree, and say his analysis is a sham that mixes budget numbers with actual income.

We support town officials on this one, and urge Portola Valley residents to vote yes on Measures P, Q and R (a vote for all three is necessary to pass both measures) and continue to support their government in this relatively painless way.

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