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As of Dec. 29, 2016 144 donors have donated $79,355 to the Holiday Fund 26 Anonymous ....................... $8,275

Individuals Linda Keegan .............................. 500 Dianne Ellsworth ......................... 200 Marilyn Voelke.......................... 1,000 Maryann Chwalek ....................... 100 Helen Chen ................................. 300 Eleanor Hedenkamp .................... 100 C Friesman .................................. 100 Margaret & Jamis MacNiven ..... 1,000 Paul Perret .................................. 250 Volckmann Family .................... 1,000 Joel Jakubson & Krishna Mitra ..... 200 Barbara & Bill Binder ....................... * Joan Rubin ...................................... * Laura Reed............................... 1,000 Barbara Fullerton ........................ 100 Mark Weitzel ................................... * Kathleen Rice ................................ 50 Melba & Bill Rogoway ..................... * Cynthia Dusel-Bacon ................... 200 Joe Pasqua & Mary Kenney .............. * David Reneau.............................. 150 Mary Cooper ................................. 75 Cherise & Barry Thompson ........... 225 Kenneth Lajoie .............................. 50 Sany Shapero .............................. 100 Margaret MacKenzie ..................... 25 Alexandra Beasley ........................... * Karen Eckelmeyer ........................ 100 Maria Gault .................................. 30 Susan Kritzik ............................... 150 Alexander van Dijk ...................... 150 Douglas DeVivo ........................... 100 Michael Roberts ......................... 100 Margo Gordon ............................ 100 Margaret McAuliffe ..................... 100 Martin & Donna MacKowski ....... 100 Bruce & Donna Whitson ........... 1,000 Anne G. Moser ................................ * Lorraine Macchello ...................... 100 George & Sophia Fonti ................ 100 Tate Family ............................ 10,000 Lynne Fovinci................................. 75 E.R. & B.L. Dodd .......................... 100 Arna & Hersh Shefrin ....................... * Ann Morgan ............................... 200 Andrew Hall .................................... * Robert Page .................................... * D. Robin Toews.............................. 35 Ruth Barker ............................... 2000 Terri Bullock Family Foundation.. 1000 Paul Welander ............................... 25 Don & Catherine Coluzzi ................. * David Stamler.............................. 500 Bettina McAdoo .............................. * Barbara Jacobson ........................ 100 The Gallo Family .......................... 500 Catherine Cerny .............................. * Margo Sensenbrenner ............... 1000 Jim Lewis ....................................... * Pegasus Family Foundation ........ 1000 Robert Oliver ............................... 500 The Brennan Family ..................... 100 Elizabeth Blair & Ken Fenyo ......... 300 Connie & Bob Lurie ................... 5000 Kathy & Bob Mueller ................... 100 The Mendelsohn Family ............. 1000

Bill & Nancy Ellsworth ..................... * Anne Hillman and George Comstock........................ 500 Julie Zier ..................................... 100 Betty Meissner ............................ 100 Laura Gran .................................... 50 Jennifer Bestor ............................ 100 Margaret Melaney ....................... 200 Ginger Walmsley ......................... 100 Karen Sortino .............................. 100 Debbie Nusinson ......................... 100 Leslie Airola-Murveit.................... 200 Sally & Bill Russ ............................... * Pat & Rog Witte .......................... 100 Marc & Maryann Saunders .............. * Joan Lane ................................ 2,000 Dorothy Saxe................................... * Lynne Davis ..................................... * Bruce & Ann Willard ................. 1,000 Joyce Firstenberger ................... 1,000 Paul Welander ............................... 25 Kayleen Miller ............................. 100 James Esposto................................. * Judy & Les Denend ...................... 500 Andrew Julian ............................. 400 Frank Adams & Susan Bryan ............ * Sybille Katz ................................. 100 Brian Donnellan .......................... 100 Bill Wohler .................................. 360 Chaulong Nguyen ....................... 200 Mayling Dixon ............................. 100 Barbara Simpson ............................. * Dorothy Kennedy ............................. * Victoria Rundorff ............................. * Barbara & Bob Ells ...................... 200 Judy & Doug Adams ........................ * Elizabeth Tromovitch.................... 150 Lucy Reid-Krensky ....................... 200 Clay & Nita Judd ............................. * Gail & Susan Prickett ................... 500

In Memory Of Bill Hewlett & Dave Packard ........ 500 Richard & Louise Barbour ............ 100 Peter & Marguerite Hurlbut.......... 100 Angelo & Celerina Atilano & Joseph Flores ............................... * Celine & Frank Halet........................ * Annie Strem .................................... * Esther Johnson ................................ * Elizabeth G. Chamberlain ................ * Claire Smith-Sullivan ................... 150

In Honor Of The Volunteers at Palo Alto Food Closet ..................................... * Nancy Stevens ................................. *

As a Gift For Rob Kuhling ................................ 200

Organizations Griffin & Sons Construction ......... 100 Mike’s Furniture ............................ 30 Menlo Park Firefighter’s Association ................................. 500 Narrative Histories Maggie Markda Silva................... 150

Your gift helps

DONATE ONLINE:

local children and

siliconvalleycf.org/ almanac-holiday-fund

families in need

When you pay property taxes, where does the money go? By Barbara Wood Almanac Staff Writer

M

ost property owners think about the property taxes they pay only twice a year when tax payments are due, and most have only a vague idea about what happens to the money once they’ve made the payments. Atherton is trying to help its residents better understand where their property tax payments go by adding a feature to the town’s website that allows residents to look up exactly how much of their taxes go to local agencies including the town and various districts: fire, sewer, library, and elementary and high school districts. Figuring it out isn’t easy, especially because Proposition 13, adopted in 1978, means that almost every homeowner pays a different amount of taxes, based on 1 percent of the assessed value of a home when it was purchased (or after construction or a major remodel) and increased a maximum of 2 percent each year. The net effect of that is that everyone in a tax rate area should get the same services, but some taxpayers, especially recent buyers, are subsidizing their neighbors’ services. Knowing where property taxes go is also made more difficult by the fact that each town or city is broken into scores of different tax rate areas because of the wide array of special districts with different boundaries, such as school districts and sewer districts. Even though Atherton is small, it has 32 different tax rate areas within its boundaries. Nearly 84

percent of the town’s residents are in one of six of those tax rate areas. Property owners can find their tax rate area by looking at a property tax bill or by visiting a county website. At tinyurl.com/SMCo-TRA on the county’s website, property owners can look up their property tax bill, including their tax rate area, by address.

Atherton sets up a website feature to help residents follow the money. Then, by going to the town’s website, property owners can look at a spreadsheet with the distribution of property taxes in their tax rate area. Tinyurl.com/TOA-TRA is the town’s municipal services page, with a section on tax rate areas and a link to the spreadsheet. For example, here’s what the spreadsheet shows how taxes are distributed in Atherton’s 1001 tax rate area, which covers almost 39 percent of the town, including the Lindenwood neighborhood and the part of West Atherton closest to Menlo Park: • 23.6 percent to San Mateo County • 16.6 percent, Menlo Park City School District • 15.7 percent, Menlo Park Fire Protection District • 15.6 percent, Sequoia Union High School District • 10.6 percent, town of Atherton • 6.8 percent, San Mateo County Community College District

Trader Joe’s wants to host wine and beer tastings By Kate Bradshaw Almanac Staff Writer

T

rader Joe’s has applied for permits to hold wine and beer tastings at its Menlo Park store at 720 Menlo Ave. Menlo Park’s Planning Commission was scheduled to discuss the item at its meeting Monday, Jan. 9, held after the Almanac went to press. Go to AlmanacNews.com for updates. Also on the commission’s agenda is a proposal to convert a day spa (“Spa in the Park”) at 103 Gilbert Ave. in the Willows into a pediatric office operated by Stanford Children’s Health. Beer, wine tastings

Trader Joe’s plans to set up a

  Q MEN LO PA R K

permanent wine and beer tasting area near the alcoholic beverages section of the store, according to documents submitted to the city.

Tasting licenses have been approved at Safeway, BevMo and Willows Market. The area would be about 105 square feet and would be enclosed by 4-foot-tall cedar walls. The company says it has such tasting areas in two Southern California locations: Temecula

• 3.5 percent, San Mateo County Office of Education • 1.8 percent, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District • 1.5 percent, Sequoia Healthcare District • 0.35 percent, San Mateo County Harbor District • 0.21 percent, Bay Area Air Quality Management District • 0.19 percent, San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District • 0.18 percent, Atherton Channel Drainage District The figures do not include parcel taxes (additional taxes approved by voters in the town of Atherton and several school districts) or bonds that are paid off with property taxes. Further complicating the matter of where property tax revenues go is the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund, which takes some of the property taxes that would go to the county, towns, cities and special districts. The money is used to meet state obligations to schools and other agencies, and if not used is given back. Atherton’s report says the ERAF shift reduces its annual property tax take from $9 million to $7.9 million and the fire district’s from $13.4 million to $11.8 million. The amount of taxes paid to the various agencies varies from tax rate area to tax rate area. For example, Atherton residents see between 6.4 percent and 10.7 percent of their basic property tax revenues go to the town and between 12.8 and 17.5 percent go to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, depending on tax rate area. A (Riverside County) and Del Mar Heights (San Diego), according to a staff report. Similar Menlo Park tasting licenses have already been approved at the Safeway at 525 El Camino Real, BevMo and Willows Market. If Menlo Park grants a permit, Trader Joe’s would still have to get permission from the state before opening the tasting area. Pediatric office

According to the proposal for the pediatric office, there would be eight employees: three pediatricians, two medical assistants, a registrar, a clinic manager and a receptionist. There is expected to be enough parking to meet demand, a city staff report says. Renovation plans include making the interior kid-friendly and converting an accessory building into a staff break room. A

January 11, 2017QAlmanacNews.comQThe AlmanacQ9

The Almanac January 11, 2017  
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