Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Progressive Business Tax?
The Progressive Business Tax is a modernization of the current business tax system that will be placed on the November 2022 election ballot.
What will the Progressive Business Tax do?
Progressive Business Tax will create a modern, progressive business tax in Oakland that lowers the tax rate for small and midsize businesses without further taxing homeowners while asking Oakland’s businesses who make more to pay more in business taxes. The measure raises $20.9 million in new revenue for the City of Oakland.
How will the Oakland Business Tax impact Oakland businesses?
90.1% of Oakland businesses will see their pay rates stay the same to what they currently pay or go down. Almost 6,000 Oakland small businesses will receive a tax cut. Oakland will benefit from the increased revenue by expanding general city services like public safety, clean streets, and housing for all.
Will the Progressive Business Tax impact renters or homeowners?
No. This initiative protects homeowners and renters and only asks businesses who make more to pay more in Oakland.
Where does the money go?
All of the funds generated by the Progressive Business Tax will go towards the City’s general fund revenue to address years of lack of investment in housing, high quality jobs, education, public safety, first responders, road and sidewalk maintenance and bike lanes.
Why is the Progressive Business Tax so important?
Oakland’s out-dated business tax structure asks far less of businesses who make more to pay more. By modernizing the Business Tax structure the city remains competitive with neighboring communities and maintains the city’s ability to attract and retain businesses of all types and sizes. A modern, progressive business tax structure would create equity for small businesses and raise tens of millions in new funding for public services.
Why is there an understaffing crisis for city services in Oakland?
Due to decades of disinvestment, the City of Oakland’s public services are dangerously short staffed. According to a recent report, Oakland has a 12.42% vacancy rate as of September 22, 2021, which means that approximately 12.42% of budgeted full-time equivalent positions are vacant. This means that the city is not able to provide many services, residents and businesses rely on every day.
What does it take for the Progressive Business Tax to be implemented?
Voters must approve the measure on the November 2022 ballot with 50+1% in order for this to go into effect on January 1, 2023.