Santa Clara Head Tax Arguments: Local Businesses and Restaurants Oppose Increase

By Robert Haugh

Santa Clara voters will have an interesting ballot and a lot of decisions to make this November.

One of the more controversial decisions will be Measure H. It would increase the business license tax on Mission City businesses by charging $45 per employee per business. Landlords will be charged $15 per rental unit. The tax is estimated to generate approximately $6 million annually.

Proponents for the tax who signed the arguments are:

Suds Jain, Vice Mayor

Raj Chahal, Councilmember

Karen Hardy, Councilmember

Armando Ferraris, Jr., resident (signed argument, but not rebuttal)

Mary Grizzle, resident

Opponents who signed the arguments are:

Christian Malesic, CEO, Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce

Teresa O’Neill, Boardmember, Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce

Mark Hinkle, President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

Kawser Jamal, Founder and CEO, Ascend Technology, Inc.

Kathy Watanabe, Councilmember

The proponents emphasize the need for new revenue for City services. The opponents argue that dramatically raising taxes on Santa Clara businesses during a difficult economy will hurt them.

Interestingly, the opponents reference popular local restaurants like Stan’s Donuts and Fiorillo’s Restaurant being hurt.

And they quote Michael Fiorillo and Frank Chang, owner of China Stix opposing the tax. Smart move. They’re all great and popular Mission City businesses.

Here are links to the arguments and rebuttals:

Argument in Favor of Measure H 

Argument Against Measure H

Rebuttal to Argument Against H 

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure H

Popular Santa Clara diners


  1. Armando aka Gary Ferraris drank becker’s koolaid. What did he promise you, Gary? Director of Public Works? The guy is a bum and sank the city into more debt thanks to you and your greediness. Deanna gave you an opportunity to improve yourself and now your the big man at CH. I thought you were better than that, Gary. Even threatened to picket the mayor’s house if you didn’t get your way. For shame. Get your act together, Gary. You are mixed up with a bum. If he is so good why does he have to keep attacking Lisa and’s what the 49ers wanted and you bought it. Go figure!

  2. Santa Clara is not in a position to start punishing businesses for being successful. This is not Palo Alto, MV or Cupertino where they are spoiled children who can afford to have a temper tantrum about traffic impacts or other nonsense. This will hurt SC as businesses will strategically begin to exit the city. It will become a good business practice to NOT be located in SC.

  3. Who do they think “actually” pays these taxes? Do they think the businesses will eat the costs? No, they pass them on to the consumer.

    For someone who wants a “downtown,” this is a bad idea. New businesses will not want to occupy a space in Santa Clara if f they have to pay a tax that they would otherwise not pay in another city.
    No new taxes!

  4. Best hike would be raj Karen Becker jain and park heading of city hall into prison. With Caserta.

  5. Who in hell follows Mary Grizzle, she knows nothing about small business. We do know she has sold her sole for the Reclaim effort. She is really a turn off to the entire project. I’ll follow Fiorillo’s, China Stix, and Stan’s the businesses I frequent and have been a staple to Santa Claran’s for over 40 years.

    Suds, Raj, and Karen are on the take so we know what they are up to.

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