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Protecting Pleasanton’s Quality of Life

Revenue Measure Feasibility

As a full-service city that provides essential services and facilities, the City works in a fiscally responsible manner to sustain the services that residents tell us they value most: rapid 911 emergency response services, safe neighborhoods, quality streets and roads, maintaining and preserving our parks and open spaces, supporting local businesses, and programs for youth and seniors. The City’s General Fund budget provides funding for a wide range of services and infrastructure. The City’s Long-Term Financial Forecast and the draft 10-Year Infrastructure Plan have identified budget deficits and significant funding needs for services and programs and repair and replacement in future years, as community-owned assets age.

The City is now considering new revenue options to responsibly address community needs as City leaders also engage with the community to ensure residents’ voices are heard before important decisions are made.

Additional information about this initiative and why the City is exploring it now can be found below.


Take a look at our detailed FAQs section.

For more information

View the spring 2024 special edition Pleasanton Progress newsletter that is about the City’s budget.

View Special Editions of the City’s e-newsletter that focused on the City’s financial challenges:

View a mailer that was sent to all addresses in Pleasanton with registered voters in mid-February.

Contact Us

For more information, or to share questions and feedback email or call Heather Tiernan at (925) 931-5044.

Community Meetings


Pleasanton is facing a severe and increasing structural deficit, meaning that expenses have and will continue to grow faster than revenues. Current forecasts indicate an average budget shortfall of approximately $13 million annually over the next eight years.

The City’s General Fund supports both City services and infrastructure. As the community has grown over the years, City services and programs have expanded to accommodate the increase in service demand. The City lost more than $11 million in hotel tax revenue during the pandemic and has not fully recovered to the pre-pandemic level, impacting the City’s financial stability.

The City of Pleasanton is committed to responsibly using the community’s money as we continue to provide the services it expects and prioritizes. We are working to cut costs from our budget, we’ve already cut $2.5 million from this year’s budget and are looking for more ways to save. Every time we have a financial decision to make, we consider all options to determine if, and how much, should be spent.

As the community has grown, the City has added new amenities and services without increasing staffing levels and resources proportionally. As new parks have been added, staff to maintain and run them have not increased at the same level. As new miles of roadway have been added to the city, street maintenance staff and engineers have not been increased proportionately. As the population has increased, police and fire staffing numbers have not increased proportionately.

The City has been working to proactively address projected budget deficits with a combination of reduced costs and new revenue. We have cut over $2.5 million from this year’s budget. We aren’t starting new programs that don’t pay for themselves. We’re cutting back on contractors where we can. We’ve frozen multiple vacant positions.

We’re looking at ways to increase revenue like increased fees for development and adjusting user fees for City facilities.

Over time, the City has made changes to its organizational structure, compensation packages, and operating strategies to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Reduced retiree health benefits are being offered to employees, and all City employees now contribute their maximum share towards the employee’s portion of the pension contribution. The City has also been proactive in setting funds aside in a pension reserve and established General Fund reserves to weather economic uncertainties.

Any funds raised by a voter-approved local revenue measure would go directly into the City’s General Fund to help fund essential city services, including:

  • Maintaining rapid 911 emergency response, neighborhood police patrols and fire protection services to keep neighborhoods safe, emergency/disaster preparedness, crime prevention programs, and updating and modernizing police information and dispatch systems.
  • Repairing potholes, repaving and maintaining local roads, and improving pedestrian safety with safe sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • Maintaining and replacing aging infrastructure, including facilities such as police and fire stations, the City’s library, cultural arts center, senior center, and other city buildings.
  • Maintaining City parks, repairing park systems and equipment, and replacing aging paths and trails.
  • Supporting small and local businesses, and attracting new businesses, jobs, and economic activity.
  • Maintaining after-school programs for children and teens, and senior services and programs, including maintaining library hours and providing access to books and educational technology.

These funds would allow residents to continue to enjoy the programs and amenities that keep property values high, neighborhoods safe, and streets and parks beautiful. For example, funds will be used to continue programs that teach people how to read, offer support to our veterans, provide services and free rides to seniors, and fund the City’s Alternate Response Unit, which offers non-police services to those experiencing a mental health crisis.

A half-cent sales tax increase would cost an additional ½ cent for every dollar spent. For example, for every $100 spent on taxable goods, the tax would increase by 50 cents.

Sales tax applies to a variety of goods and services including things like furniture, cars, toys, antiques, clothing, and gasoline would be subject to the tax. Items that are exempt from sales tax include groceries, prescription medicine and certain medical devices, and sales of items paid for with food stamps. In addition, many labor costs are exempt from sales tax.

A ½ cent sales tax would generate approximately $10 million per year for City services. ALL funds generated by the local sales tax would be locally controlled and would stay in Pleasanton to provide essential City services, programs, and facility improvements. By law, the State could not take this funding away.

While work continues to protect the things our community values the most, the City is prepared to cut costs to balance the budget if needed. However, those cuts will impact the quality of life for all residents. This is what we are working to avoid.

While the City is working to protect the programs and services our community values the most, we are prepared to cut costs to balance the budget if needed. However, those cuts will impact the quality of life for all residents. A draft contingency plan of cuts that may become necessary if revenues are not increased.

A ½ sales tax is the best way to increase revenues enough to allow the city to continue to provide the same level of service to Pleasanton residents now and into the future. In addition, a sales tax increase would ensure that visitors pay their fair share for the use of Pleasanton services while not impacting certain essential purchases like groceries, prescription medication, and medical appointments.

The City’s Water Fund is separate from the City’s General Fund; the cost to operate and maintain the City’s water programs comes from user fees, not the General Fund. Providing reliable, safe drinking water is a top priority for the City, and we have prioritized a number of water related projects over the past 18 months to ensure we continue to deliver quality water throughout our community. Increased revenue from a recent water rate adjustment will help stabilize the City’s water fund and was necessary to secure financing to complete some of the projects and improvements. The City is considering additional funding sources for water specific projects including state and federal grants, a lawsuit against PFAS contributors, partnerships with Zone 7 for cost sharing, and potential future bond measures.

The budget deficit being discussed now is in addition to the gaps in funding for water projects, and being addressed separately.

If passed, a sales tax increase would last for 10 years. It cannot be continued past that time without approval by the City Council and a vote by the community.
NONE. By law, every penny generated by a local voter-approved sales tax must stay local. In this case, that would mean all funds generated by a local sales tax in Pleasanton would STAY LOCAL to fund essential City services and facility improvements for Pleasanton. None of these funds can be taken by the State or diverted to other communities.
The 1% County/City local tax is the only sales tax that comes directly to Pleasanton.
  • CA Sales & Use Tax – 6.25%
    • State General Fund/Realignment – 5.5%
    • County Public Safety – 0.5%
    • County Transportation Fund – 0.25%
  • City/County Local Tax (direct to Pleasanton) – 1%
  • Transaction & Use Taxes: Other Taxing Agencies – 3%
    • BART – 0.5%
    • Alameda County Transportation Commission – 0.5%
    • Alameda County Transportation Sales Tax – 0.5%
    • Alameda County Health Care Services Agencies – 0.5%
    • Alameda County Children’s Health and Child Care – 0.5%
    • Alameda County Transactions and Use Tax – 0.5%

Studies show that people do not change their shopping habits based on sales tax rates and they do not consider sales tax when choosing the place they want to do their shopping.