Avoid economic development, and don't tax us. Does this sounds familiar? Our city fees for "everything" are high, Half Moon Bay could learn from us.
Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Novack, 3/29/12. "HMB floats new sales tax idea, public outcry dooms paid parking."
|Charming downtown- no parking meters|
Many of the same merchants rallied last week to urge the council to scuttle plans to charge drivers for parking downtown. “I think I heard what everyone said tonight — we’re not ready for paid parking,” said Councilwoman Marina Fraser during a public meeting March 20. “In the future, we’d like to see more community support (for a sales tax) … with the help of merchants on Main Street.”
“We’d be ruining the charm of our town by (nickel and diming) people who come here to eat and shop,” city resident Marcia Traversaro said to the council. “If you’ve gotten a ticket in a town, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”
At the tail end of the meeting, council members relented and a majority seemed to back the concept of a half-cent city sales tax that could go on a future ballot. The idea was first suggested by It’s Italia restaurant owner Betsy Del Fierro, who indicated it would be a better solution for Main Street merchants. Taking up the tax idea,
|Try to pass a sales tax again|
Other council members followed suit and agreed to lay to rest the paid-parking idea, but they reminded the audience more than once about the uphill battle they faced to pass a sales tax in 2010. Councilman Rick Kowalczyk, who opposed the past tax increase, admitted he was conflicted about backing a new tax. “The principle of a sales tax is counterintuitive,” he started, “But I would support it if … a significant piece was used to promote the community.”
Going into the March 20 meeting, city leaders had put their support behind paid parking downtown, saying the idea carried little risk and could actually rotate more customers into shops and restaurants. The proposal wouldn’t have come cheaply, costing the city about $500,000 in equipment and another $330,000 a year in maintenance and enforcement. Staff recommended the council charge a rate of $1.50 an hour to recoup the cost quickly."
Posted by Kathy Meeh