The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors met today to discuss and move forward with direction on several local November ballot measures.
Three measures that have direct impact on the business community and our region’s quality of life were discussed, arguments on both sides were heard and decisions to support one and remain neutral on the other were reached. On the third, a decision was made to take “no position at this time pending further clarification on key issues” raised by the board.
On the Santa Clara County Transportation Tax, also known as the Traffic Relief and Road Repair Measure, the board gave direction to reaffirm its support of the measure.
The SJSV Chamber has a history of supporting initiatives that promote continued economic prosperity and an improved quality of life. This particular tax measure has been developed over a multi-year period through regional collaboration and consensus building. It has a specific spending plan that nearly every jurisdiction and key stakeholder, including both business and labor interests, has had a say in developing.
“This is how we should address all regional issues, with good solutions developed over time through a collaborative, inclusive process,” Matthew Mahood, SJSV Chamber President & CEO said. “This measure deserves our support because it will positively impact our region’s transportation issue in a multi-faceted approach where everyone wins.”
On the city of San Jose’s Business Tax Modernization—which will effectively double the current tax revenue generated from the existing tax structure—the board gave direction to remain neutral.
“It is reasonable to expect an update to this particular tax since it has not been modernized in 30 years and the approach to revamp this tax is part of a broader compromise to stop a much more onerous Gross Receipts Tax proposal from going to the ballot,” Mahood said.
On the final issue up for discussion, the Santa Clara County Affordable Housing Bond Measure, the board shifted from an oppose position to a formal “no position,” citing that they would like clarification from the board of supervisors on key issues contained within the measure.
“We recognize that we have a regional homeless and housing crisis,” Mahood said. “We also recognize that something needs to be done to address this crisis at the local level. But before we move forward with our position on this particular measure, we need to clearly understand the specifics in the County’s plan and how they address accountability, transparency and the use of taxpayer dollars. We want to bring this issue back to the board of directors for their final consideration as soon as possible.”