Nikki Fortunado Bas, Oakland City Council President

Oakland Council President Bas’ Progressive Corporate Tax Moves Forward Toward Eventual Ballot Entry

On January 9th, 2021, Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunado Bas (District 2) introduced a resolution with Councilmember Thao (District 4) to create a Blue Ribbon Task Force for the Progressive, Modern and Equitable Business Tax Ordinance approved by Council on July 14, 2020 for placement on the November 8, 2022 ballot. Councilmember Bas believes that by inviting the largest corporations in Oakland to invest in our general purpose fund, Oakland can grow revenue and, she says, ensure a “Just and Fair Recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

By the wording, I am not casting doubt at all, just reporting what the Councilmember wrote. Quite the contrary, a true, progressive, business tax is long overdue. But, by “progressive”, she does not refer to a political position, but a rate that increases with business income.

On January 19th, the Oakland City Council did unanimously vote to create a Blue Ribbon Task Force to move forward with Councilmember Bas’ proposal to put a Progressive Corporate Tax measure on the November 2022 ballot.

Councilmember and Council President Bas’ says that “this means Oakland voters will have the chance to “invite the largest corporations here to make a deeper investment in our city, pay their fair share, and support a just and equitable recovery from this pandemic.”

She says the Task Force will have, or should have, 11 members with deep expertise in supporting the health of our local economy, workers, and small businesses. But I wonder if that will wind up being comprised of the largest campaign donors? Bas says they will provide recommendations to the Oakland City Council on the proposed tax rates to “ensure our city’s economic vitality, support small businesses, and generate increased revenue to better meet Oakland’s service needs.”

Again, I’m not trying to place a sarcastic tone here. But it’s fair to ask how the members of the task force will be selected? I certainly hope I don’t have to play this great O’Jay’s song used in The Apprentice:

Know what I mean?

Stay tuned.

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