City Council Briefing: Cannabis tax cut, Caltrans Parcel 6, recycling bailout, Short-term rental sites stiff tax

East Bay city council meeting highlights for the week of Nov. 19:

>> OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL(Nov. 19, 4:30 p.m.) – Item 9.5
CANNABIS TAX REDUCTION – Oakland’s 10 percent tax rate on gross retail cannabis receipts is the highest in the county. After much lobbying from the cannabis industry, which is very much centered in Oakland, the council will decide Tuesday night whether to lower the tax to five percent. Medical cannabis is also taxed at five percent in Oakland. The move, if approved, would put Oakland more in line with its neighbors in the East Bay… Single-family homeowners who rent out two or fewer rooms and have a personal income that is 100 percent of the areas median income could be getting a tax break… Oakland will also approve placing more measures on the March 2020 primary ballot. Last week, the council voted to place a parcel tax to fund city parks, its stormwater system, and the homeless. On Tuesday, they will vote to include measures to raise the city’s tax allocation, and a charter amendment that allows local newspapers with smaller circulations to print the city’s legal notices. AGENDA

>>> HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL (Nov. 19, 7 p.m.)Item 11
CALTRANS PARCEL 6 – Parcel 6, one of 10 property purchased from Caltrans as part of the defunct Route 238 Bypass project, could one day include up to 500 units of new housing and a neighborhood park. The 30-acre site near Cal State East Bay, however, is largely devoid of public infrastructure. The council is being asked to allow the city manager to begin the process of finding a developer for the property. AGENDA

> ALAMEDA CITY COUNCIL (Nov. 10, 7 p.m.) – Item 6E
HOTEL TAX AND AIRBNB – Short-term rental site such as AirBNB and VRBO are required to pay a hotel tax under the city’s Transient-Occupancy Tax, but the taxes remain outstanding. According to a staff report, the city “has met resistance” from the web-based rental sites. A tweak in the existing ordinance is being asked of the council Tuesday night to further restate and clarify that the taxes must be paid to the city… A presentation from a local gun control group hopes to urge the council to enact city legislation to take more guns off the streets of Alameda… Councilmember Malia Vella has two council referrals on the agenda to create a system for autonomous code enforcement of building, health and safety codes, and another requiring diaper-changing facilities in city bathrooms. AGENDA.

>>> BERKELEY CITY COUNCIL(Nov. 19, 6 p.m.) – Item 12
ASTRAZENECA CLEAN-UP – Berkeley is considering sending the Richmond City Council a letter that voices its concern over the neighboring city’s reversal for the proposed clean-up of a former industrial site once owned by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. The council is urging Richmond reconsider and move forward with a full remediation of the site located near U.C. Berkeley. AGENDA

>>> TRI-CITIES 
The cost of recycling is becoming increasingly prohibitive for many East Bay cities. FREMONT is proposing to increase its existing contract with a local recycler by $300,000 to $1.4 million a month to cover the increase the operator’s recycling losses. The recycling crisis started in 2018 when China enacted a new policy against accepting many types of recycling… The city will also accept $175,000 in funding from the county for a warmer center. AGENDA

>>> TRI-VALLEY
DUBLIN could become the next East Bay city to ban flavored tobacco products, and perhaps e-cigarettes… State Sen. Steve Glazer and Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan will present the council with a legislative update. AGENDA.