Property owners in San Carlos should listen carefully to their new mayor, Brad Lewis. In an article published in today’s San Mateo Daily Journal, “Mayor: Taxes are Healthy,” Mayor Lewis is encouraging residents to consider supplemental taxes to fund community based projects. Lewis equates the new taxes to eating vegetables….essentially, something that is not particularly enjoyed, but well worth it.
Those that have followed San Carlos politics closely over the past few years know that we have many possible projects, especially on the Park and Recreation side, that remain unfunded because of recent budget cutbacks. A community center, pool, skate park, field space, park improvements, continued revitalization of downtown and east side development are all projects that need funding.
Recent attempts to levy supplemental taxes have been shut down. However, I would encourage San Carlos property owners to take a long term view of the situation. Small yearly investments by property owners in some of these larger projects will most likely payoff exponenitally in the years to come.
Not convinced? Let’s take a look at two of the main reasons buyers are coming to San Carlos: (1) Schools (2) downtown. Each year property owners pay taxes and bond measures that go to San Carlos schools. Additionally, the San Carlos Educational Foundation pumps tons of money into our San Carlos schools. The funds for both of these revenues sources comes from those already living in San Carlos. With regard to downtown and Laurel Street, the concerted effort to revitalize downtown has transformed Laurel Street from a sleepy thoroughfare for those living in San Carlos into a vibrant attraction filled with outstanding restaurants and eclectic shops. Many of these shops and restaurants attract people from surrounding cities to visit San Carlos. The impact of a revitalized Laurel Street on San Carlos property values is undeniable. The lesson learned from both of these examples is that strategic investments in our infrastructure is likely to yield a substantial property value increase for those living in San Carlos.
Lewis is on the right track. Two nearby cities that bought into this concept, Palo Alto and Los Altos. Both had careful planning and a vision for their respective downtown. Both have funded much their infrastructure through taxes. As we all know, both have done exceedingly well with their property values.
Nobody wants to have the burden of supplemental taxes, however, a big-picture-view by property owners may have some believing that the investment is one that will pay dividends in the years to come. Strategic planning and the willingness to invest in San Carlos through special taxes will enable San Carlos to further distinguish itself from surrounding cities.
Link to the SM Daily Journal Article is here: http://smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=87667