SPUR Comments on Vacant Parcel Tax in Oakland

Letter commenting on proposed ordinance to collect a tax on vacant properties in the City of Oakland.

Policy Letter

SPUR supports the concept of a vacant parcel tax, while offering recommendations for improving the proposal as currently written.

Recommendations are as follows: 1) Clarify the purpose of the ordinance; 2) Create clear definitions of "vacant parcel" and "active use;" 3) Consider limiting the geography of the tax; 4) Ensure that the tax is implementable; 5) Consider establishing a reauthorization date for the tax; 6) Develop an understanding of how much funding will be available for homeless services over time, ensure accountability for the use of funds and involve the County of Alameda in developing programs to address the homeless crisis.