On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), we are writing to support Mayor Liccardo’s memorandum to explore temporary tax and fee reduction/exemptions for residential high-rise projects. We are also supportive of the concept of allowing fees to be paid at the time of certificate of occupancy. By way of background, The SVO is the Silicon Valley’s premier business advocacy organization representing nearly 1,200 companies that employ over 300,000 workers, and we represent our membership as the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce.

As the rising costs of land, labor, and construction materials continues to stall residential housing projects, the City of San José must explore options to reduce taxes and fees in order to improve the feasibility of housing projects. Given that the City of San José continues to lag behind on state-mandated housing production goals, we must consider leveraging fee reductions as an important tool in reducing barriers to residential high-rise developments. If the Council’s priority is to tackle the housing crisis, then a permanent fee reduction is an important tool that can be utilized to incentivize residential projects to “get out of the ground”.

If we are to tackle the housing crisis, we must look to encouraging and incentivizing more market-rate residential developments to pencil-out. The City of San José has recently been focused on affordable housing production, which is an important goal, but we must also look to the private sector to significantly accelerate housing production at all income levels. The city cannot solve our housing crisis without a robust partnership from the private sector. As always, The SVO is available as a resource for soliciting feedback from our members, many of whom are housing developers that invest in San José to help the city meet its housing production goals.

In closing, we strongly urge the Council to support Mayor Liccardo’s memorandum to explore residential fee reductions/exemptions for high-rise projects and also allowing fees to be paid at the time of certificate of occupancy.

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