Ask what San Jose store owners think about the new half-cent tax proposal, and a common refrain you'll hear is this:
Linda Ruiz, who owns Park Place Vintage in Willow Glen, said the shopping experience is feeling more and more oppressive in San Jose.
“You don’t get a bag, you’re going to pay more,” Ruiz said, referring not only to the tax proposal, but the city's decision to charge for bags at stores earlier this yera.
San Jose City Manager Deborah Figone is recommending the city ask voters in November to add that extra half-penny per dollar to the tax rate for the next 15 years.
The city manager’s office said the new tax rate would generate $56 million to $64million a year.
If voters say yes, the revenue could mean funds for city services like public safety, parks and libraries. The city council seems to be divided on the issue.
Not so, with many average consumers in town.
“I’d like to see us tax things like cigarettes or alcohol rather than tax the general public,” said Stephanie Wing, who works in San Jose.
Her friend, Moira Mitchell, who owns a business in San Jose agreed: “I generally thing taxes are a bad idea, especially for small businesses which really drive the nation’s economy."
For now, consumers and small business-owners are left hanging until the November election.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Valerie Lewis, co-owner of independent book store, Hicklebee’s in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood. “The last few years have been really tough.”