Sweet and savory mod Vietnamese WEEKEND | P.16 JULY 30, 2010 VOLUME 18, NO. 30
INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 19
City puts broader phone tax on ballot COUNCIL WANTS TO INCLUDE VOIP REVENUE, PROTECT INCOME By Daniel DeBolt
ballot, but I don’t know if I’d vote for it.” he City Council voted It wasn’t complicated to other Tuesday to have voters council members. decide whether the city “Essentially what we’re saying should extend its phone tax to is if you make a voice call, there is internet phone services as well a tax to it,” said council member as interstate and international Laura Macias. phone calls. In an April 27 council study In a report, the city manager’s session it was reported that sevoffice warns that Mountain eral hundred thousand dollars in View’s phone tax revenue is “at new annual revenue for the city risk” unless the tax is “modern- could come from the proposed ized” to include increasingly pop- phone tax modernization. City ular broadManager band internet Kevin Dugphone sercon“If you make a voice gan vices known tends that it as Voice Over call, there is a tax to it.” is not a tax Internet Proincrease, but LAURA MACIAS. tocol (VOIP). a “broadenM o u n ing of the tax tain View’s base.” 40-year-old “telephone users A city-hired consultant has said tax,” as it’s called, currently that 68 percent of local voters brings in $1.9 million a year, and supported the ballot measure in a has declined by $50,000 over the recent survey. At Tuesday’s meetlast year. ing, resident Don Ball questioned Also part of the proposed bal- the clarity of the survey. He said lot measure is “broadening” the he participated in the survey but 3 percent tax to include interstate misunderstood “modernization” and international calls. The city to mean a new phone system for currently taxes calls to and from the city. He added that he knew Mountain View within Califor- of no businesses that are aware nia only. The change may have that this is “coming down the an almost undetectable effect on pike.” the average resident, who may The biggest impact of the be taxed 2 cents for a typical updated phone tax may be on 15-minute international phone businesses. The city reports that call, the city reports. a mid-size business using VOIP The Council voted 6-1 at a could see an estimated increase special July 27 meeting to put in their phone taxes from $100 a the phone tax measure on the month to $600. November ballot with member Cell phone users would see “no John Inks opposed. Inks said the impact” due to the way they are ballot measure was difficult to taxed by service providers, the understand and that the ques- city said. tion voters will be asked “doesn’t Because broadband phone serdisclose very much.” vice is sometimes bundled in For similar reasons, Council- internet service plans, taxing man Tom Means said, “I’m going See PHONE TAX, page 6 to support putting this on the
T MICHELLE LE
Construction worker Jose Oriana sorts through leftover drywall inside the city’s new day worker center at 113 Escuela Ave. as major construction nears completion. The Day Worker Center of Mountain View hopes to move in this September but still needs $180,000 in donations. Go to www.dayworkercentermv.org to donate.
City approves $14 million for new trail crossings STEVENS CREEK, PERMANENTE CREEK TRAIL EXTENSIONS MOVE AHEAD By Daniel DeBolt
he City Council approved highway over-crossings for the Stevens Creek and Permanente Creek trails on Tuesday. The council voted 5-2 in favor of extending the Stevens Creek trail over Highway 85, with council members Laura Macias and Jac Siegel opposed. The city will now take bids from construction companies for the project, which largely consists of a new pedestrian bridge over Highway 85 from the trail’s southernmost point, Sleeper Avenue. Siegel and Macias urged the city to wait until October for news about $4 million in federal funds requested by Anna Eshoo’s office for the project. City staff urged the council to move forward with the project anyway, saying that
the federal funding was uncertain and could delay the project for a year. They added that construction costs are currently low and could increase soon, and the project is already fully funded from various sources, including $1.25 million in Shoreline property taxes, $2 million in park funds and $800,000 in grants. The city had originally hoped construction could begin to DaleHeatherstone by April of this year. The city now hopes to obtain permits from Caltrans by August. The next extension of the trail makes its way to Mountain View High School where another bridge crosses back over Highway 85. It is likely to be more difficult as portions of the trail go through private property, requiring easements from owners or eminent domain. City staff hope Eshoo’s $4 million
funding request can be interpreted broadly enough to help pay for it. Permanente Creek Trail extended Also Tuesday, the council approved a $9 million extension of the Permanente Creek Trail over Highway 101 and under Old Middlefield Way. The pedestrian bridge and tunnel will connect an existing trail from Shoreline Park and Google’s campus to residential neighborhoods on the south side of Highway 101. The council voted 6-1 in favor of the project with member Laura Macias opposed. Macias said she was wary of the project because it was coming in at “three times the original cost” of $3 million. City staff said the cost increase occurred See TRAIL, page 10
GOINGS ON 21 | MARKETPLACE 23 | REAL ESTATE 26 | VIEWPOINT 14
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â– MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE â– JULY 30, 2010
7PJDFT A R O U N D
T O W N
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“Yes. I think the flashing crosswalk lights on the ground are more effective. Maybe jay-walkers should be cited.” Liz Smyth, East Bay
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