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Plan to Modernize Oakland's Business Tax Announced by City Councilmembers, Small Business Owners, Labor and Community Groups


OAKLAND, Calif., June 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Oakland City Councilmembers, small business owners, Labor and community groups announce plan to support small business and create vibrant communities by modernizing business tax.

Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas said about the effort, "The decisions the City of Oakland makes now will help us weather the current crisis and set a better course for our communities as we emerge, recover." She went on to say, "Oakland must act to both protect city services and support struggling small businesses by making our local tax structure equitable and fair."

The proposal would modernize Oakland's tax structure, now twenty-years old, making it progressive, like other cities in California so firms with more revenue pay more than smaller firms. It would close loopholes, such as the exemption on new buildings paying a gross receipts tax. It would shift the tax burden off small businesses, many owned by women and people of color and create a tax structure that is equitable and fair.

"If Oakland wants its small businesses to emerge from this crisis, the city must address the deep inequities in our current tax structure." Said Tracey Weaver of Urban Furniture and Boutique, Urban University Oakland, who went on to say, "It is time we modernize this outdated tax structure, so that it is fair to every business."

Carroll Fife, Oakland Director of ACCE said, "After the last economic crisis, many of the historic small businesses that shaped our community were forced to shutter their storefronts." She added, "The loss of these small businesses deeply exacerbated gentrification among our most vulnerable neighborhoods."

Oakland is facing sharp budget cuts and while this proposal would not provide immediate relief, it would create a tax structure that would create revenue to protect city services.

Liz Ortega, from the Alameda County Central Labor Council said, "We need more than just cuts, when addressing our budget shortfall." She went on to say, "During the last economic crisis, many of these services were slashed and never restored. Oakland must save vital city services and choose to prioritize people over profit by reforming its antiquated tax code."

The Lift Up Oakland proposal to modernize the city's business tax structure is sponsored by City Councilmembers Bas, Thao and Kalb. If passed by the city council, it would be on the November 2020 ballot. To pass it would take a 50%+1 majority of voters. More information can be found at https://liftupoakland.com/

 

SOURCE IFPTE 21


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