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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Checking out trends in Pleasanton's city revenues

Uploaded: Jun 27, 2019
Reading through the East Bay Economic Development Alliance annual economic report, I was struck by the sales tax report that showed Pleasanton’s taxable sales dipping by 6.6 percent in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018, the biggest drop among Alameda County cities.
Taxable sales total $1,936,041,000 for that year compared to 1,965,680,000 for the city of Dublin, an 11.1 percent increase. Livermore, driven by its auto dealerships, its manufacturers such as Topcon and Gillig buses and the San Francisco Bay Factory Outlets, increased a modest 1.3 percent, but totaled 2,879,205,000, way more than Pleasanton and Dublin.
For comparison, San Ramon totaled 843,639,000. Fremont, driven by Tesla’s delivery of its Model 3, soared 31.3 percent to 6,099,637,000, the highest total in the two East Bay counties.
I reached out to Pleasanton Economic Development Director Pamela Ott for comment and she directed me to Finance Director Tina Olson’s recent budget report to the City Council. Sales tax revenues peaked in 2014-15. Revenues have grown 7 percent since 2013-14 but are expected to decrease 1.3 percent in the new fiscal year that starts July 1.
Sales tax revenues are under pressure from online purchases by both consumers and businesses. In contrast to traditional sales taxes that go to the entity where the purchase was made, the online revenues going into a county or state pool and are distributed on a per capita basis.
Pamela wrote that car sales and transportation revenues are down statewide, suggesting there was pent-up demand after the recession ended and now, they are normalizing. She also wrote, “Tina and I would share that it’s not just one trend but rather a few trends that are contributing to the flat sales tax revenues: a shift from purchase toward subscription or license services, think software-as-a-service companies as an example; also, just as residents purchase online so, too, do businesses; and there’s a lot more retail in the Tri-Valley that creates competition for existing retailers.”
Pamela cited Simon’s interest in redeveloping the former Sears site with a fresh format and a different tenant mix (small grocery store, health club, movie theater) as boding well for the future of the mall and the city’s revenues stemming from it.
For good news, she noted that property taxes have grown steadily since 2013-14, climbing from $50.7 million to 74.8 million. The city will receive another healthy bump this year thanks to the opening of the new Workday campus next to Stoneridge Mall and the West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.
The city’s overall revenue stream is healthy, increasing from $96.6 million in the 2013-13 to an estimated $130.5 million in 2020-21, a 35 percent increase. Nice to see our personal income bounce by that number over seven years.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by James Michael, a resident of Val Vista,
on Jun 27, 2019 at 10:58 am

James Michael is a registered user.

If Costco had been built then I'm sure that sales tax revenues would have been better...right now those sale taxes go to Livermore and Danville.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jun 27, 2019 at 4:58 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

How much do you want to bet that even though sales tax revenue is down, the city budget will increase, rather than decrease?

If city governments were run like a business, there'd be layoffs and restructuring of business practices to make up for the shortfall.

If only...


Posted by Greg, a resident of Dublin,
on Jun 28, 2019 at 5:49 pm

Build the Costco.

Posted by Frankie, a resident of Alisal Elementary School,
on Jun 28, 2019 at 9:39 pm

Frankie is a registered user.

Despite a.small dip, the projected revenue stream will be strong. How is the money being spent? On public services and improvements, or City employees compensation and pensions. See

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jun 29, 2019 at 9:39 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

I've read all over these threads and Costco comes up more often than you'd think.

As a testament to Government and Lawfare it is interesting to me how long it takes to get a business like Costco from conception to operation.

For example, consider the Golden Gate Bridge. It was built in just over four years. Construction started on January 5, 1933 and the Bridge was open to vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937.

I couldn't find out how long it was in conceptual and design phase but compare the utility of each and the comparison of time to completion.

How does it take now over, what, three years and Costco is STILL not built, but you can build a major bridge between two land masses across a turbulent ocean in 4 years?

THAT is Government and Lawfare in action.

And yet, we have a significant portion of our population calling for MORE government.

Costco is what happens when you get more Government.


Posted by Wilma, a resident of Alisal Elementary School,
on Jun 29, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Wilma is a registered user.

CostCo delay is caused by NIMBYs and people who abuse environmental regulations to delay development they don't like then they file lawsuits to further delay. Unfortunately, our elected officials let the opponents spend our tax money on endless and needless reports by more consultants when they should lead and not be afraid of getting elected again. The public voted in support of the CostCo and despite another delay reaffirmed the community support of CostCo. But a small group lead by Matt Sullivan and which Councilmember Brown and Testa are members keep fighting it. They want restaurants on the freeway and flood control channel. Sure, that will happen and people will flock there for an enchanting dining experience.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jun 29, 2019 at 6:15 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


As I said, Government (politicians) and Lawfare (Matt Sullivan).

It's so predictable now...nothing can get done unless both groups get their payoff, what ever that is.

Anything can happen, as long as the right skids are greased and everyone gets their piece of the pie.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jun 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm

Population of Pleasanton is approximately 75,000.
Registered voters in Pleasanton is approximately 44,000.
Pleasanton residents that are Costco members is approximately 46,000.

Posted by James Michael, a resident of Val Vista,
on Jun 29, 2019 at 8:30 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

"enchanting dining experience" that is funny.

Posted by harshak999, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 8, 2019 at 11:07 pm

harshak999 is a registered user.

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