2019 Ballot Measures

By: Mayor Madison Davis, City of Brisbane, madisondavis@ci.brisbane.ca.us, 415-706-5276

While it may not feel like it here in Brisbane, we’re in the midst of election season once again. This year, along with elections for two City Council member seats, there are three ballot measures pertaining to Brisbane for you to consider. All taxes, Measure C, Measure B, and Measure E ask for your vote regarding liquid storage, transient occupancy, and cannabis business license tax, respectively.
Measure C asks for voters to contemplate revising the existing business license tax charged to liquid storage facilities (ie: businesses like the Kinder Morgan tank facility). The measure asks if the City should raise the tax up to six cents per barrel delivered over the rack (no more than $400,000 will be collected per year). In 2013, Brisbane’s voters approved a similar tax for liquid storage facilities. Since that time, Kinder Morgan filed a lawsuit with the City of Brisbane. As part of the conditional settlement, the City Council agreed to go back to the voters with a ballot measure that calculates the tax with different method. The estimated tax to be collected will be relatively the same amount. This tax will be based on the volume of petroleum product that the facility distributes from its Brisbane location. If the voters approve the new tax, the lawsuit will be resolved. If the measure does not pass, the lawsuit filed by Kinder Morgan would resume.
Revenue collected from this tax would support general City services such as Police, Fire, and Parks and Recreation.
Currently Brisbane has a 12% occupancy tax charged by hotels to its customers. An occupancy tax is classified as a fee a guest pays in order to stay at hotels, motels, and short-term rentals and is calculated as a percentage of the room rate. The fee is paid to the hotel and then the hotel remits the payment to the city. Measure B puts forth an increase in Brisbane’s transient occupancy tax from 12% to 14%. The City Council is proposing this increase in tax in order to raise the City’s occupancy tax to that equivalent of nearby cities. The last increase to this tax occurred 10 years ago in 2009. The City anticipates this increase will generate an additional $250,000 annually and will continue to grow over time. Currently at the 12% rate the city receives approximately $2.7 million in revenue. Funds from Measure B will also support general City services like Police, Fire, and Parks and Recreation.
Measure E, the final ballot measure for this election, focuses on business license tax pertaining to cannabis businesses. For the past year, Brisbane has had a number of cannabis businesses operating within its city limits. As of now, the City has no way to collect a tax from these businesses. The passage of Measure E would allow the City to collect up to 6% of gross receipts from these businesses and could generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for the City a year which would support general City services mentioned previously in this article.
Cannabis businesses would be required to register with the City and obtain a “Certificate of Registration.” Every quarter, the business would submit a tax return and pay the appropriate amount of taxes at that time. A no vote on this measure would mean cannabis businesses would continue to operate in Brisbane but not pay any of their gross receipts to the city.
If you have further questions about any of these measures, feel free to reach out to me or city staff.
Per usual, here’s this month’s Brisbane Fun Fact: In 1939 a monthly magazine, the Brisbane Church Messenger was established.
If you have a question, concern, compliment, or feedback I invite you to email me at madisondavis@brisbaneca.org or give me a call at 415-706-5276.