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Measure HH on November 6, 2018 Ballot
Imposing an Annual Parcel Tax of $2.50 per square foot on Commercial Office Real Property over 25,000 SF

Commercial office development in East Palo Alto adds service demands, and increases housing costs, displacement, and local traffic congestion without significant job opportunities for the City’s current residents. By imposing a parcel tax on commercial office space, this measure will generate revenue to fund programs for City residents that will offset some of the negative impacts of commercial office development.

The measure will impose an annual parcel tax on commercial office space over 25,000 square feet at a rate of $2.50 per square foot, estimated to annually raise $1,675,000.  Property that is 25,000 square feet or less and property that is not used for commercial office purposes, for instance, where the primary business activity is retail trade (except retail trade from non-store retailers), agriculture, and accommodation and food services, are not subject to the parcel tax on commercial office space because they tend to provide local benefits, such as job opportunities for current residents, and do not carry the same burdens as commercial office development. 

The revenue generated by a parcel tax on commercial office space can be used for affordable and supportive housing programs, with an emphasis on the creation of net new housing; programs that facilitate access to job opportunities for East Palo Alto residents in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics sectors, the building trades, and strengthen the City’s First Source Hiring Program.

A minimum of 35% of the revenue shall be used exclusively for the construction of new, affordable housing stock. A maximum of 15% of the proceeds from the parcel tax can be used for reasonably incurred costs to the City for staff and overhead to administer the ordinance and provide annual reports on the amount of funds collected and expended, and the status of any project.


Staff Report


Impartial Analysis

Past Measures
The City of East Palo Alto has been engaging residents about quality of life priorities and needs through surveys, community meetings and public opinion research. Through this outreach the community has identified, public safety, housing affordability, water delivery and storm drain infrastructure as well as road maintenance as top priorities for East Palo Alto.

 To help address these priorities, on July 19th, the East Palo Alto City Council placed Measures P, J and O on the November 8th 2016 ballot for voter consideration. Below please find additional information about these local measures. 

East Palo Alto Neighborhood Safety and Vital City Services Measure

Revisions to the Rent Stabilization and Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance

East Palo Alto Residential Rental Business License Tax Measure