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Alameda City Manager John Russo to put 1/2% Sales Tax Hike Before Council on March 7th

Alameda City Manager John Russo will present his idea for one-half of one-percent sales tax hike to Alameda City Council on March 7th. Will it help or hurt Alameda?

The current sales tax rate in Alameda is 8.75 percent and the one-half percent would take that rate to over 9 percent. Mr. Russo says that rate would “safely produce a minimum of $1.8 million annually in additional funding for the life of the tax.” He’s also counting on a new large sales tax generator, such as a Target store, to boost the yield of the tax.

He would also have the City of Alameda issue bonds against the revenue stream from the tax, raising roughly $15 million in the near term, to pay for a new Emergency Communications Center, a new Fire Station #3, a new 50 meter swimming pool located in central Alameda, and upgrades to the currently empty Carnegie Library. Mr. Russ would have the tax increase put on the ballot in the June 2012 election.

Local Alameda businesses may suffer, however, as only San Leandro and Union City, of all Alameda County cities, have sales tax rates of 9 percent or higher. Alameda residents may choose to shop outside of Alameda to save money.

What do you think? Will the higher sales tax rate hurt or help Alameda?

Would City Manager John Russo's proposal to raise sales tax in Alameda to over 9% hurt local business?

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2 comments to Alameda City Manager John Russo to put 1/2% Sales Tax Hike Before Council on March 7th

  • BWong

    Just shop in Oakland and save money. It is not rocket science.

  • DHL

    I’d have to see the plan that guarantees the building of a tournament quality aquatic center, timelines, and deadlines, and CapEx and revenue. The facility would have to have a 50 meter pool, a diving well/pool, and a warm/therapeutic pool to make it worth it though; just a 50m pool is insufficient for the future and insufficient to take on that tax burden.
    But a facility as I describe would increase business for retail and restaurants on weekends from age-group tournaments, and that be tremendous (there is no competition aquatic facility in the East Bay and tournaments would alternate here then). And the benefit for resident swimmers and teams, particularly the high school teams currently training in obsolete facilities, would be tremendous.