Suppose Your City Proposed Charging a Tax on Local Businesses? 51 Percent of Voters in Five Bay Area Counties Say They Would Oppose

San Jose, CA – 51 percent of voters in a February Silicon Valley Poll say they are, in principle, opposed to any potential local tax measure that would tax businesses based on a flat fee per employee to provide funding for local city services and 31 percent strongly oppose. Only 30 percent were in support of such a measure.

The poll conducted by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in partnership with the Bay Area News Group surveyed 1,568 voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and found that voters in Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties had the strongest opposition.

“These poll results show that Bay Area residents are generally very savvy when it comes to the local economy and job creation. These type of measures are perceived by voters as job taxes and rightfully so,” explained CEO Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “Bay Area jobs are held by real people, with real families, earning real incomes. We fortunately have a low unemployment rate thanks to the robust innovation economy.  Employed residents and employers add to our tax base, rather than draw from it, which is great for our economy and our quality of life.  Yet our innovation economy is notoriously cyclical.  Taking jobs for granted is the best way to lose them.”

Figure 1. Support by County

Position All Voters Alameda Contra Costa SF San Mateo Santa Clara
Total Support 30% 33% 27% 32% 24% 30%
Total Oppose 51% 47% 60% 44% 51% 54%
Undecided 19% 20% 13% 24% 25% 16%

Figure 2. Support by Ethnicity

Position All Voters Lat. AA API White All Voters of Color
Total Support 30% 31% 55% 32% 27% 35%
Total Oppose 51% 54% 41% 45% 54% 48%
Undecided 19% 15% 4% 23% 19% 17%

It seems the sentiment crosses all household income levels. Democrats are slightly more supportive than Independents and Republicans.

Figure 3. Support for Local Employer by Party

Position All Voters Democrat Independent Republican
Total Support 30% 37% 26% 10%
Total Oppose 51% 41% 55% 82%
Undecided 19% 22% 19% 9%

Media interested in the learning more or scheduling interviews may contact Pam Kelly, Senior Communications Manager at The poll of 1,568 registered voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties, was conducted by FM3 Research for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Bay Area News Group. The poll, conducted Feb. 14-24, has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents 330 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley including energy, transportation, education, housing, health care, tax policies, economic vitality and the environment. The Leadership Group members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and generate more than $3 trillion in annual revenue.