Writer opposes sales tax increase in Antioch

Dear Editor,

During this time of high unemployment, very high cost of gas, food, utilities and an uncertain economy, it does not make sense for the City of Antioch to raise its sales taxes. The City will be creating another burden on residents already struggling to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Increasing the sales tax will not be a guaranteed reliable, steady stream of revenue. During low economic activity, City revenues decrease and the probability of more lay-offs of City employees remain a threat. New businesses would not view higher sales taxes as an incentive to locate in Antioch. We must attract more businesses, and in turn bring more jobs into the City.

Antioch must increase the number of Police Officers and Community Service Officers to address the crime that negatively impacts our quality of life. Code enforcement activity has to be increased to address blight.

Antioch needs a steady stream of revenue and I submit that since all businesses pay a license fee in order to do business in Antioch – then, non-owner occupied rental property dwellings should be included in this fee paying structure.  Rental property owners are running a business and it makes sense that the City should collect a license fee from them. This would be a reliable, steady stream of income that would provide an estimated $2.5 million per year based on a fee of $20.00 per unit, per month on approximately 11,000 rental units in this City.

Two initiatives have been proposed as potential ballot measures for this November 2013. One is a ½ cent sales tax increase and the other is the $20.00 per month, per unit business license fee.

Antioch voters; for a steady stream of funds for the City of Antioch, funding that will not be subject to a decrease/increase of sales taxes – please say “Yes” to a business license fee on non-owner occupied rental properties.

Marie Livingston, Antioch

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4 Comments to “Writer opposes sales tax increase in Antioch”

  1. Christopher Grisham says:

    I’m voting YES on the business license fee on rental houses.

    I ony wish it were $100 a month, rather than a measly $20 per month basis. These funds can be used to tremendously increase the quality of life in Antioch. I can never get code enforcement or police to help me when needed because of “limited resources”.

    Guess who’s sucking up all those resources? Yup, rental homes and their constant need for code and police supervision.

    CG

  2. Kenji Freitas says:

    As an owner of a rental myself, I’m in favor of a fee, but $100 a month is unreasonable since most landlords will pass that cost on to the renters, a lot of whom can barely afford the rent as it is. You will just end up pushing people out of rentals here and possibly result in making people homeless. My problem with this proposal is, who will find all of the rentals in the city, and who will get money from out of state lanlords who could not care less about maintaining their rentals here, let alone paying a fee. What about the numerous squatters who illegally occupy foreclosed homes by coming up with fake lease agreements? Who will get them out and fine them? In the meantime, law abiding citizens like myself will pay the fees while thousands of dollars every month will not be collected from these properties, unfair to people like me. I would like to see some sort of severe penalty put into place for non-compliance, starting with a hefty fine. I’d also like to see exemptions put into place for seniors who own rental property, or people that are disabled. They are on a limited budget as it is.

    • Christopher Grisham says:

      … one small step at a time, Kenji.

      • Linda says:

        This discussion is very welcomed. I hope that the City Council members are seeking opportunities to engage with Antioch citizens and homeowners who are greatly affected by the increase in corporate/privately owned rental property in Antioch. Living in a cul-de-sac of 10 homes, only 4 of these homes are owner-occupied to my knowledge.

        In the time I have been living in what should be a “desirable” neighborhood, there has been activity such as drug trafficking on the corner, big time marijuana growing business in one home, burglaries (including my home), uncooperative and unfriendly neighbors uninterested in becoming part of our Neighborhood Watch group, kids meeting and setting fires in landscaped niches, etc.

        I am hoping our city electeds will lead with new thinking, guts and void of “cronyism, small town relationships that have protected the status-quo” in Antioch. It is not easily recognized as so many of the leadership seemed to be engrained in what Antioch was, they cannot recognize themselves as being the problem of what “ails” Antioch.

        Just getting more police is NOT the answer. Their lobby is quite strong. But, even in the best of times, I suspect that they continued to push for enhanced working conditions and retirement packages. Why aren’t our police expected to give “service beyond remuneration” like teachers are expected to do. Think about the disparity in salaries. Think about who impacts our society.

        L.I.S.
        Antioch Resident

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