Analysis: Statistics on Commutes Show a Massive and Growing Jobs-Housing Imbalance

One of the big questions about housing is what is our internally-generated housing need.  While it is clear that university growth is playing a role in bringing both additional students, as well as faculty and staff into town, thus generating housing demand, there are other populations as well that are generating need.

One of the big questions that emerged was how many employees work in Davis but do not live here in town.  We were able to use the university Travel Survey to see that most students live in town (92.5 percent), but that number drops to 69 percent of faculty and less than 50 percent of staff.

To find out the overall number, we asked city staff who pointed us to the 2017 State of the City Report.

What we found is nothing short of stunning.  And it points to a massive work-live imbalance in Davis.

 

Using the most recent data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Origin-Destination Employment Statistics, published by the U.S. Census Bureau, “there were approximately 28,465 persons employed within the City of Davis and on the UC Davis main campus in 2014, which represents a 12.2 percent decrease from 2004.”

Of those 28,465, around 73.8 percent (nearly three-quarters) were “in-commuters” who “lived outside of the Davis area.”  Not only is that a huge number, but it “represents an increase in the in-commuter rate from 66.5 percent in 2004.”

On the other hand and just as concerning, nearly 70 percent of those residents who are employees (69.1 percent) were “out-commuters” working “outside of the Davis area.”  That also represents a significant increase as the out-commuter rate was 54.8 percent in 2004.

In other words, the trends were bad and got worse in both respects.

To put numbers on this, about 21,000 of the over 28,000 employed people in Davis and UC Davis live outside of the area and have to commute into town each morning.  And on the other hand, 16,655 of the 24,000 people who live in Davis and are employed work outside of town.

This reflects actually two problems.  The first problem is the lack of housing for people who work in Davis, commute to Davis, but either cannot find housing or cannot afford housing to live in Davis.  We obviously do not know what kind of percentage of those 21,000 who work in Davis but live outside of the Davis area wish to move here, but that number is rather astronomical.

The second problem is one we have discussed over the years – it is the jobs-housing imbalance.  One of the problems is that if someone doesn’t work at the university, the chance of their finding a high enough paying job to live in Davis is reduced and they go to Sacramento or even the Bay Area to get those kinds of jobs.

One reason for the push for innovation centers and economic development has been to produce those high-end jobs to enable people who live in Davis but work elsewhere to perhaps more often remain in town.

Instead, it seems that every morning in Davis about 20,000 people come into town from out of town while at the same time about 16 to 17,000 people who live in town, get on I-80 and commute east or west to their jobs.

That is not a healthy situation for our community in a lot of ways.  It makes Davis more of a bedroom town.  It disconnects a portion of the population from civic engagement.

It is also not good for the environment, as people have to get into their cars to commute to work – releasing GHG and adding to the community’s carbon footprint.

As we noted on Sunday, there are impacts for not having sufficient housing.  The closer people live to campus, the more likely they are to get there by means other than an automobile.  A very low percentage of students who live within two miles of campus drive to school on a regular basis.

However, almost everyone who commutes to town does so by themselves, in a car.  That adds GHG emissions and it adds to traffic flows.

We knew that housing and lack thereof was impacting traffic and commute, but the out-commute is just as stark and just as impactful, and that is the result of lack of economic development.

The State of the City report notes, “The intensification of cross-commuting patterns, including an increasing rate of both in-commuting and out-commuting, reflects a growing disconnect between the employment opportunities available within the Davis area and the characteristics of Davis as a residential community for workforce households.”

The report notes that “some Davis area workers prefer to live in areas like Sacramento, Woodland, or Dixon, to take advantage of lower housing costs and/or availability of social and recreational opportunities for young professionals.”

Meanwhile, “Davis remains a highly desirable community for higher income and professional households, particularly those with children, due to the community’s reputation as a culturally and politically progressive community, with a high quality of life, and exceptional public K-12 educational opportunities.”

However, “with an existing net inflow of workers (i.e., jobs minus employed residents), an average residential vacancy rate of only 3.7 percent (and a multifamily rental vacancy rate of only 0.2 percent), and little new housing development, the community’s existing cross commuting patterns are likely to intensify, corresponding with upward pressure on area housing prices.”

Where does this leave the future?

That is a big question.  On the one hand, some worry that the lack of housing will continue to drive up costs and make Davis a hamlet of only the very rich.  On the other hand, others worry that Davis is already producing a huge demographic shift toward university student residents and away from productive working community members with families who have ties to school.

A reader wrote in the other day, noting, “The amount of new housing you covet would not make a dent to satisfy the demand;  and a quantity that might reduce prices enough would almost certainly destroy our small city.”

To which I largely agree.  But the tricky problem is what happens if the course continues unchanged – what does this community look like in 20 years?  Who lives here?  How do we finance basic city services and infrastructure?

These are questions that the leadership in this community and its residents must address.  The numbers right now are very telling.  The path forward is less clear.

—David M. Greenwald reporting



Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$
USD
Sign up for

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

73 thoughts on “Analysis: Statistics on Commutes Show a Massive and Growing Jobs-Housing Imbalance”

  1. John D

    David,

    Once again you overlook a crucial distinction as you run through these numbers.  And that point has to do with both the location of these Davis-based jobs and the tax status of the employer.

    How many of your 20,000 inbound commuters are destined for the UCD campus? These inbound employees are actually destined for a Yolo County based job – just ask Joe Minnicozzi.

    Unless you pay no attention to the role of annual property taxes or daily sales taxes – both where they are paid and collected – in the financial sustainability of Davis City, you are missing a key part of this conversation.

    Simply stated – actual job location does matter….from the standpoint of sales tax revenues to Davis City….as does the property tax status of the specific enterprise.

    Focus all you want on trip miles and housing – for it is important – but you’re missing the much larger picture about how a city generates iits revenues to pay for its services.

    These issues were largely irrelevant when the university was founded in 1906, but not so today.

     

    1. David Greenwald

      “How many of your 20,000 inbound commuters are destined for the UCD campus?”

      That’s an interesting question, if you look at the UCD Travel Study, less than you would ordinarily think.  They have about 10,000 positions at UCD, maybe 5000 of them coming from out of town.

        1. David Greenwald

          The commuting statistics inform the bigger picture.  That picture is that we live in a city that if you do not work at the university or own a business, you are not going to earn enough to live in Davis.  That’s the issue I’m raising here in adddition to the housing.  The commute stats are just how we are measuring this right now.

        2. Ron

          So, your argument is that more jobs should be added, thereby further encouraging an inbound commute (as it’s not likely to reduce the cost of housing, especially when compared to surrounding communities).

          Or, perhaps you’d advocate for housing to be included, thereby simply increasing the size of the city (and resulting in no net gain of jobs for existing residents, while simultaneously increasing costs to the city to serve those new residents). And, increasing the amount of commuting “everywhere”, since not all members of a household would be working at the innovation center.

        3. Ron

          See Don’s comment below (and my response).  Seems that Davis is not exactly “short” on jobs.  (Hence, the inbound commuters, as well.) Your arguments have internal conflicts in logic.

      1. John D

        Alan,

        State sales tax wasn’t even an issue until 1933.  Local taxes weren’t an issue until 1962.

        Amazon on-campus order fulfillment wasn’t an issue until 2016…………………………

        If sales tax revenues to the City of Davis aren’t a factor in the discussion, or an issue of concern – then I guess it’s just a matter of some arcane history.

        1. Mark West

          “Local taxes weren’t an issue until 1962.”

          Which, I guess, is why the failure to capture local sales tax was one of the primary justifications for developing the first Core Area Specific Plan in 1960-61 (because we knew it would become an issue a year or two later…)? Uhuh.

          The failure of the downtown business district to generate the necessary sales tax revenues for the community was an old problem in 1960 and remains unchanged today. We developed a rational plan for addressing the issue with the 1961 CASP, then nearly completely failed to implement it.

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

          1. Don Shor

            (because we knew it would become an issue a year or two later…)? Uhuh.

            Looks like that would be the reason, actually, or that it had just become an issue.
            “¹ The Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Sales and Use Tax Law was enacted in 1955. The law authorizes counties to impose a sales and use tax. Effective January 1, 1962, all counties have adopted ordinances for the Board of Equalization to collect the local tax….”
            https://www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/taxrateshist.htm

        2. John D

          Mark,

          Perhaps  I misunderstand your point, but statewide, there were no local sales tax components being imposed for any local jurisdictions before 1962.

          The point being that increasing levels of “on campus” local-component sales tax leakage weren’t even a consideration for the finances of either Davis City or the County of Yolo prior to 1962.   Perhaps there is some form of sales tax sharing program/agreement which has been implemented between the two jurisdictions.  If so, I have never seen it mentioned.

          Today, matters are quite different, with much of UCD purchasing tailored and structured specifically to stipulate “on campus” delivery addresses – effectively insuring such transactions would be categorically exempt from any local Davis City sales taxes.   Take a look at UCD’s annual, taxable purchases and one imagines that local tax component would represent far more than budget dust for the Davis City tax coffers – presumably offset by a corresponding increase in tax revenues to Yolo County.

          Factor in the potential surge of “on campus” deliveries for students and faculty, courtesy of Amazon, and you are looking at an entirely new phenomenon in retail sales and sales tax collections.

          Are we to assume that you still don’t consider the topic worthy of a discussion?

        3. Mark West

          “Are we to assume that you still don’t consider the topic worthy of a discussion?”

          When did I say that the topic wasn’t worthy of discussion? I said that people who hide their identity (and agenda) should have no standing as part of that discussion.

          Read the ’61 CASP. Local shopping and tax revenues were an issue then as now.

        4. Mark West

          Don S: “Effective January 1, 1962, all counties have adopted ordinances for the Board of Equalization to collect the local tax….”

          Thank you, Don. I learned something new today.

           

  2. Michael Bisch

    It’s not clear to me what your point is JD. Are you saying all those campus-generated jobs and economic activity result in zero benefit to the Davis community?  They don’t result in any City sales tax, property tax, TOT, fees or charitable donations?

    1. Don Shor

      Are you saying all those campus-generated jobs and economic activity result in zero benefit to the Davis community? They don’t result in any

      Why do you translate his comments into “all” and “zero”? That’s a strawman.
      UCD growth and on-campus activity generates no property tax for the city. Sales tax and economic activity of on-campus jobs is less than it would be if those jobs were in town on private property.
      As to the jobs/housing imbalance, the reality is that the rental/housing market in Davis is so skewed that you simply aren’t going to get enough housing in the lower price range necessary for staff, ever, to significantly affect that. The houses they would buy are largely owned as investment rental properties right now. I don’t see enough housing growth on the horizon, without significant peripheral annexation, to make any difference in that problem. Projects like The Cannery won’t make any difference (that’s not the demographic of who’s buying there). And we all know what the likelihood is of successful peripheral annexation for housing development.

      1. Michael Bisch

        Why do you translate my questions as statements, Don? That’s a strawman. And why are you answering for John D? My request for clarification was directed at him, not you. I’d like to know what his point is without you muddying the waters further.

         

         

      2. Alan Miller

        Why do you translate his comments into “all” and “zero”? That’s a strawman.

        Why do you translate my questions as statements, Don? That’s a strawman.

        Let’s ask Scarecrow, he’s a straw man.

         

    2. John D

      Michael,

      As you well know, there would be no Davis City – as we know it today – but for the arrival and growth of the university.  It has always been and continues today as the primary engine of regional growth in the Sacramento Valley.

      As you can read, my comments are specifically directed at the challenges associated with our modern systems of taxation and their implications for the continued financial sustainability of Davis City and the essential services and amenities it affords its residents.

      From the standpoint of fiscal revenue generation, Davis is faced with a unique set of challenges not often found in host communities to world class research universities.

      It is unfortunate that this is such a sensitive topic that it cannot be addressed in public forum.

      There is much useful and informative information in the Mayor’s State of City Report which, if analyzed with any degree of rigor, might help to further enlighten this conversation.

      1. Ron

        John:  “It has always been and continues today as the primary engine of regional growth in the Sacramento Valley.”

        I wonder if our neighbors in Sacramento (home of the state capitol, and numerous government agencies) would agree with that assessment. My guess is that they rarely think twice about Davis and even UCD, except perhaps when passing through to the Bay Area.

        1. David Greenwald

          This is from a Sacramento Business Journal article last summer:

          Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council, revealed a new marketing campaign on Wednesday to highlight the relative youth and education of Sacramento’s workforce for businesses that may consider locating here.
          The Sacramento region is home to the nation’s fourth-highest percentage of graduates in science and technology fields, and the city of Davis is the second most educated community in California after Palo Alto. Those were two examples given at a quarterly public presentation by the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council.

          But no one in Sacramento knows about Davis.

        2. David Greenwald

          “Then I guess Davis is not exactly “short on jobs”.  Despite the fact that many apparently CHOOSE to pursue employment outside the city.”

          Way to completely not get this issue.

        3. David Greenwald

          You haven’t ask the most fundamental of all questions – why are 16,000 people leaving Davis each day to work?  Why are 21,000 people coming into Davis each day to work?  Is there a difference between the jobs people are coming to and the jobs people are going to?  Once you understand those dynamics, there is no contradiction at all.

          Think about this – 70 percent of all faculty live in Davis while less than 50 percent of all staff do.  Why is that?

        4. Ron

          David:  “You haven’t ask the most fundamental of all questions – why are 16,000 people leaving Davis each day to work?”

          From a personal level, I can tell you why I worked in Sacramento.  It provided a much better opportunity for me, than anything in Davis.  (I’m not a college professor, for one thing.)  An “innovation center” would not have changed that equation, for me.

          David:  “Why are 21,000 people coming into Davis each day to work?” 

          Probably for reasons that are similar to the example I provided, above.  (However, in my case, it resulted in an “outbound” commute.  I was not “alone” in that commute by any means.)

          David:  “Is there a difference between the jobs people are coming to and the jobs people are going to?  Once you understand those dynamics, there is no contradiction at all.”

          See my example above.  Not sure what your argument is.

          David:  “Think about this – 70 percent of all faculty live in Davis while less than 50 percent of all staff do.  Why is that?”

          One reason is that they can get a cheaper, newer, and larger house 5 miles away (with probably an easier commute to campus than a lot of locations within Davis).  At the same time, they can still send their children to Davis schools, while avoiding the school district parcel tax.

      2. Mark West

        John D.: “From the standpoint of fiscal revenue generation, Davis is faced with a unique set of challenges not often found in host communities to world class research universities. It is unfortunate that this is such a sensitive topic that it cannot be addressed in public forum.”

        There is no aspect of the City’s fiscal health that is too sensitive to be discussed in an open public forum. One of Davis’ biggest impediments to economic sustainability is the propensity of folks to say one thing in public, and then work behind the scenes in private to push forward their hidden agenda. We come together as a community to find a broad vision for the future, then see the implementation of those plans blocked by hidden machinations often by the same people who were prominant members of the original commissions.

        This is one reason why I so abhor anonymous and semi-anonymous postings in discussions of City policy. If you are unwilling to state your beliefs in public where everyone has an opportunity to know who is speaking, you should have no standing in the conversation.

  3. Ron

    From article:  “The first problem is the lack of housing for people who work in Davis, commute to Davis, but either cannot find housing or cannot afford housing to live in Davis.”

    Or – choose to live outside of Davis (since they can get more “bang for their buck”), while still possibly still send their children to Davis schools (but avoiding the Davis school district parcel tax).

    And yet, some still advocate massive “innovation centers”, which would encourage even more “in-bound” commuting.

      1. Ron

        Your own article states that there’s already more inbound commuters than outbound commuters.  And yet, you want to create a further imbalance.

        Also, what makes you think there’s a large pool of workers living in Davis, but commuting to Sacramento who would suddenly “change jobs” to work at an innovation center?

        1. David Greenwald

          It’s a jobs-housing imbalance.  That means that there are 16,000 people who every day leave the city of Davis and drive because they work elsewhere.  Is that good for the community?  Is that good for the environment?

          The other side of the equation is that there are 21,000 people who work in Davis but don’t live here. Two days ago you were asking how many such people there were, now that you know the answer, your response is to deflect and shrug? So how many of those people who commute – thereby clogging our roads and polluting the air – would prefer to live in Davis? Those are the internally generated needs you were talking about.

        2. Ron

          Unbelievable.  Above, you pointed out that UC Davis is already one of the top 5 employers in the state.  And then, you point out that people are commuting “everywhere” (inbound, and outbound), with more commuting inbound.  And then, you imply that you want to make the “housing/job” balance even more pronounced, via an innovation center.  (Assuming that there’s even demand for it from the business side, given that Woodland is now in the process of approving one, about 5-6 miles up Highway 113.)

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            My point is you are using UC Davis’ job status as evidence that Davis doesn’t need to add jobs when half the listed jobs are in Sacramento at the medical center.

  4. Ron

    From article:  “On the other hand and just as concerning, nearly 70 percent of those residents who are employees (69.1 percent) were “out-commuters” working “outside of the Davis area.”  That also represents a significant increase as the out-commuter rate was 54.8 percent in 2004.”

    Just as I stated the other day – people and workers commute “all over the place”.

    The conflicting logic/conclusions presented in the article above is astounding.

      1. Ron

        David:  The answer is that it’s “inevitable”.  All of the development projects you advocate would increase it.  In addition, there’s often more than one worker (and/or “commuter”) per household (not all of whom commute to the location that you’d “prefer” they do).

        1. Ron

          Yeah.  “Force them” to live where they work.

          As noted above, it’s going to be difficult for housing in Davis to compete with cheaper, newer, and larger houses 5 miles away (with probably an easier commute to campus than a lot of locations within Davis).  At the same time, those who pursue this can still send their children to Davis schools, while avoiding the school district parcel tax.

          I’m not saying this is a “good thing” – but it is a reality.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Force them? Are you being obtuse intentionally? Provide people with the opportunity to live near where they work – that seems to be the best policy. Does that mean everyone will? Of course not. Is it better for the community and the environment? Yes. Why are we even arguing this point? You just can’t acknowledge that you’re point on Sunday was wrong that there is an internally generated demand for housing.

        2. Ron

          David:  This circles back to your (original) point in the article, above.  That people are commuting “everywhere” (inbound, and outbound).  And, this trend is apparently increasing.

          I understand that in order to live in faculty/staff housing on campus, one must continue to maintain a connection to UCD. Is that correct? (If so, then that seems to be the best way to ensure that “commuting everywhere” is reduced.) If one ends their connection to UCD, then that housing would then apparently become available to another person with a connection to UCD. (And, it’s less-expensive to begin with.)

           

      2. Howard P

        Can/should we require that people be healthy?  Can/should we require that people act in an environmentally ‘just’ manner? Can/should we require that people act in a way that is good for the community?

        I believe we should incentive/encourage/educate folk to do all three… good goals… the thought of ‘compulsion’ is where I won’t go.  Pretty sure our family has done all three, but probably not enough for the zealots.

        There are ‘trade-offs’, and statistical risks… but to the extent some would frame this as “if we had more jobs, we’d have less commuting”, or if “we stop new jobs, we’d have less commuting”, or “if we stop all new housing and we take care of both jobs and commuting”, or if we add housing, that will minimize commuting”… well, that is not real… except, perhaps, statistically…

         

        1. Howard P

          Depends on who is compiling the statistics, sources of data they choose to use, and biases, conscious or not, in choosing data and drawing conclusions… reality is what we experience.

        2. Alan Miller

           “if we had more jobs, we’d have less commuting”, or if “we stop new jobs, we’d have less commuting”, or “if we stop all new housing and we take care of both jobs and commuting”

          Don’t forget:  “If we have less parking spaces at our new development, there will be less cars”.

  5. Jim Hoch

    Given that people have shorter tenures at specific employers than previously it is less usual for people to move when they change  jobs. This may just be “the new normal”

     

    1. Ron

      I agree, Jim.  Plus, it’s increasingly expensive to move.  (In addition, Proposition 13 makes one less likely to take on increased property taxes and Mello-Roos fees, which would likely occur as a result of a move that involves a sale and purchase.)

      1. Howard P

        Ron… you are learning…

        increased property taxes and Mello-Roos fees

        You are correct… taxes are deductible… fees are not… except, because the MR fees are put on the property tax bill, most deduct those fees… and have been getting away with that, despite warnings from IRS…

  6. Ron

    From article:  “. . . while at the same time about 16 to 17,000 people who live in town, get on I-80 and commute east or west to their jobs.”

    It should be noted that a significant number of the outbound commuters probably use public transit.

    Overall, this is probably the worst article (regarding lack of completeness and logic) that I’ve seen on the Vanguard, in recent memory.  (You know that’s the case when it’s getting attacked by both ends of the “growth spectrum”.)

    1. Howard P

      It should be noted that a significant number of the outbound commuters probably use public transit.

      CYA?  What do you consider “significant”?  What do you base “probably” on?

      I believe, based on personal experience and observation, the real number is ~ 2-8% (think the real # is about 4%)… if that is significant to you, fine… it isn’t to me…

      1. Howard P

        Oh… the CYA was related to your assertion/reality that you used transit when you commuted… I made sure that I lived close enough to employment that I had an easy bike ride… only drove in pretty foul weather, or after I developed a disability… pretty much lived within 1-3 miles from work… there was a one week exception when it was a 70 mile commute… and the one year I worked PT in Woodland… maybe a trip/week, on average… the Davis apt. wasn’t ready yet., in the former…

        1. Ron

          Howard:  “Oh… the CYA was related to your assertion/reality that you used transit when you commuted.”

          You arrive at some truly stupid and erroneous conclusions.  Half the time, I don’t even bother to point them out.

          I didn’t mention this for “CYA” reasons.  However, I can tell you that the buses to Sacramento were well-used, from an anecdotal perspective.  (Federal and state government agencies subsidize the use of public transit.  And, it’s expensive to park in Sacramento.) I suspect that most (or, at least a high percentage of) government workers who work in downtown Sacramento use public transit. (Even from areas such as Roseville.)

          The article pointed out that there’s a lot of (both) inbound and outbound commuting.

  7. Alan Miller

    Overall, this is probably the worst article (regarding lack of completeness and logic) that I’ve seen on the Vanguard . . . . . . . You arrive at some truly stupid and erroneous conclusions.  Half the time, I don’t even bother to point them out.

    What has been said in today’s Vanguard are among the most insanely idiotic things ever heard.  At no point in the rambling, incoherent article and responses was there even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this forum is now dumber for having read this blog.  We award you no points, and may God have mercy on your souls

  8. Richard McCann

    Perhaps the biggest unstated stat from this story: The net decrease of 3,300 jobs held by in-town residents. The overall Davis population grew 2,600 over that period. So on net Davis added 5,900 people who don’t have jobs, or about 9% of the population. This means that city costs are spread over 9% less income earners. My guess is that much/most of this increase is in retirees (with students representing the remainder.) This trend is largely unsustainable for maintaining a fiscally-sound municipality.

    1. Ron

      Richard:  “This means that city costs are spread over 9% less income earners.  My guess is that much/most of this increase is in retirees (with students representing the remainder.)”

      No, it doesn’t.  Retired persons also have income.  Status as a “worker” or “retiree” makes no difference to a city, in terms of taxes collected (e.g., property tax, parcel tax). (Perhaps a little less sales tax, as retired persons tend to buy less junk.) (Actually, though – maybe more RV’s? Think Mesa RV, in Davis.) Old people are also (ultimately) higher “users” of local health care facilities and nursing homes.

       

      1. Howard P

         as retired persons tend to buy less junk.

        Age-ist unless you can cite source.

         Old people are also (ultimately) higher “users” of local health care facilities and nursing homes.

        No sales taxes, increased property taxes there… age-ist.?..

        Not all retirees have ‘significant’ income. But then we get to the definition of “significant”…

        You are correct as to property/parcel taxes, except if the retirees are renters… then it depends on whether landlords pass those on… not 100% of landlords do that…

        Know/knew many retirees that were not HO’s… they rented…

        “Profiling”?

      2. John D

        Ron,

        With respect for your opinion, I would beg to differ.

        By definition, most retirees no longer work.  What’s missing in your comparison are the corporate or business taxes being paid in connection with their role as an employer.  Profit seeking employers typically pays commercial property taxes, sales taxes on their purchases and personal property tax on the equipment and fixtures they own

        When viewed on per capita basis, these contributions from the employer can and do make a tremendous difference to the financial fortunes of the municipal entity.

        1. Ron

          John:  Thank you for maintaining a civil tone.  (I recall this about you in the past, as well.)

          I was just pointing out that it probably doesn’t make much/any difference to a municipality (in terms of property tax and Mello Roos) if an individual is working, or not. It may, or may not impact sales tax received.

          Retirees still spend money (and support businesses), but do so in a different manner than younger cohorts.

          Regarding corporate/business taxes, don’t those go to the state and federal governments?  (No direct local benefit.)

          Yes – I understand about the property taxes on real property and equipment.

          Regarding sales taxes, aren’t “business-to-business” transactions generally exempt from sales tax?

        2. John D

          Ron,

          I’d guess what makes a difference to the municipality is the additional operating revenues produced by the various categories of local, commercial property taxes and related sales taxes paid on their purchases of hi-tech and diagnostic equipment, furniture, copiers, computers and supplies – plus their annual personal property tax payments.

           

          Yes, they pay both sales taxes on their purchases plus property tax – demanding almost zero municipal services in return.  On a per capita basis its mostly gravy.

          It’s a metric that cities like Berkeley and Palo Alto actually track and regularly report.

        3. Ron

          John:  Thank you.

          I’ve noticed that some on the “slow-growth” side of the spectrum did support a commercial-only development, for the reasons you provided.  (Sort of a “balance” to all of the housing developments that were previously approved in Davis.)  I seem to recall that Sue Greenwald, for example, supported a commercial development at the Cannery site (instead of housing).

          Personally, I’ve kind of soured on the whole idea, partly due to the shenanigans regarding the proposed MRIC.  The “other” concern has to do with the reasons that are touched upon in the article, above (creating more inbound traffic, and putting more pressure on the local housing market).  Sort of a Catch-22. (Truth be told, I also view Mace Boulevard as sort of a logical border for the city, in that particular location. I appreciate the farmland, there.)

          Regarding purchases of high-tech equipment, computers, furniture and the like – it seems to me that most of those purchases would be made outside of Davis, and delivered.  Thereby benefiting other communities, instead of Davis.

          Regarding property taxes on equipment, I’m wondering if it decreases over time, due to allowed depreciation.  (I was not a tax auditor, though.)  I understand that Proposition 13 also impacts commercial (real) properties, in that they’re not allowed to rise more than 2%/year.

    2. Alan Miller

      So on net Davis added 5,900 people who don’t have jobs

      Don’t have documented, taxed jobs.  There is a booming underground economy.  Doesn’t help the City budget much.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for