EBC AGENDA: May 18-24 — Kaplan goes on tax measure spree in OAKLAND; ALAMEDA COUNTY spends $24m on CBOs

OAKLAND – City Council committees, Tuesday, May 22, start at 9 a.m.
–VACANT PROPERTIES PARCEL TAX– Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan wants to put her proposal for taxing vacant properties on the November ballot. Generally speaking, Kaplan wants the tax to be set at $6,000 per vacant unit and $3,000 for condos and town homes. “I am proposing that we create a tax on vacant properties, and dedicate the funding to homeless solutions. This is a proposed ballot Measure, to adopt a Special Parcel tax, exclusively on vacant properties, where the revenue will be dedicated to specified purposes,” wrote Kaplan.

–“The Council would have the power to reduce the tax and make other changes to procedures as long as they do not increase the tax. Staff has estimated that there are at least 5,000 vacant properties in the City of Oakland. If we impose a vacant property tax, some of these properties will end up being exempted, and some may go to collections. Therefore, it may raise around $10 million per year. This can provide more resources for navigation centers, rapid rehousing, cleaning, sanitation, small homes, alternative housing structures, eviction prevention, rent assistance, and other vital steps to improve this crisis.” [Finance Committee, 9 p.m.]

–TAX UBER TRIPS– Kaplan also wants the council to place another tax-generating measure on the ballot this November. This time to tax Uber and Lyft rides in Oakland. “This ordinance proposes to adopt a tax of up to 50 cents per ride on passengers of Transportation Network Company trips originating in the City of Oakland, if a majority of all qualified voters voting on the ballot measure vote in favor thereof.” [Finance Committee]

–CELL SIMULATOR USAGE– How many times last year did the Oakland Police Department use its cell simulator, a device which imitate a cell tower in order to gain access to a suspects cellphone data? Its use, however, requires a warrant. According to an OPD report, the simulator was used three times last year. All for murder investigations. Once through a warrant obtained by OPD, and twice from the Alameda County DA’s office. [Public Safety Committee, 6 p.m.]

Community & Economic Development Committee, 1:30 p.m. | Life Enrichment Committee,  4 p.m. | Public Works Committee, 11: 30 p.m.


ALAMEDA COUNTY – Regular board meeting, Tuesday, May 22, 9:30 a.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: June 5
–SAFETY NET CBO RENEWALS– Fifty Community-Based Organizations are set to receive renewals for delivering safety net services to county residents totaling $24 million on Tuesday. Among the largest renewals is $6 million for child and family services at Las Positas College; $1.8 million for group home beds at The Refuge in Oakland; and $2.8 million total for the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Entire list here.

–JAILED UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS– The board is being asked to approve a two-year, $460,000 contract with Justice Benefits, Inc., a vendor that specializing in maximizing federal funding associated with incarcerated undocumented immigrants for state and local governments.

–PALESTINIAN PROCLAMATION– Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan will present a proclamation for “Palestinian Cultural Day.” It’s a ceremonial item but this proclamation has met controversy in past years and the increasingly violent situation in Gaza might make this a volatile item.


HAYWARD – Special council meeting, Tuesday, May 22, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE  | Next meeting: May 29.
–238 BYPASS NEGOTIATIONS– A proposal–long in the making–to evict the remaining tenants from scenic single-family dwellings near Cal State East Bay that are slated for demolition returns, this time to a council closed session that begins Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. With a housing crisis becoming more evident in Hayward, the proposal, more than eight years in the planning, is a bad look for the city. But last month, the council postponed for a month to vote on the plan in order for further discussion. Whether or not the plan changes the least bit isn’t likely based on last month’s council remarks.


SAN LEANDRO – Regular council meeting, Monday, May 21, 7 p.m.
ENTIRE AGENDA HERE | Next meeting: May 29
–PARCEL TAX– Two weeks ago the San Leandro City Council voted nearly unanimously to direct staff to begin studying the feasibility of placing on the November ballot a parcel tax dedicated to public safety. On Monday, staff has returned with a price tag for the endeavor, asking the council to “appropriate $95,000 from the General Fund for Consulting Services Assistance Associated with Exploring a Potential Public Safety Parcel Tax.” Depending on the amount of the parcel tax, city staff said earlier this month that the ballot measure could yield between $3-$6 million in new annual revenues.

 

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