City looks to exempt grocery stores from new business tax | News

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With Palo Alto preparing to place a business tax on the 2022 ballot, city officials on Monday agreed to consider exemptions for grocery stores and small retailers.

The City Council largely reaffirmed on Monday the recommendations from its Finance Committee, which concluded after numerous meetings that the city’s new revenue source should be a business tax based on square footage. By a 6-1 vote, with council member Greg Tanaka dissenting, the council agreed on the basic contours of the new tax, including exemptions for retailers below a certain sized threshold.

The council’s recommendation builds on and slightly strays from the Finance Committee’s recommendation, which had suggested a general exemption for retail. On Monday, Mayor Tom DuBois suggested that he would prefer to limit it to “small retail,” even though the city has yet to determine what the size threshold will be.

Another modification that was proposed by DuBois and accepted by his colleagues…

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