City Council placed a measure on the November 3, 2020, ballot that was approved by the voters, which changes the Business Tax calculation methodology to be based on gross receipts in the City of Richmond instead of the number of employees. The new model would calculate the business tax based on the amount of gross receipts (total amount of money received in connection with any sale) in Richmond by the business and then charge a specific percentage based on the type of business and the amount of revenue generated. The tax to businesses is based on a range from 0.075% to 1.395% of gross receipts.
Previously, the business tax in most cases was based on the number of employees. The base rate was $234.10 per year and increases per employee a business has working in Richmond (the first 25 employees are charged at $46.80 per employee, and employees above 25 are charged at a rate of $40.10 per employee). The cannabis industry (at 5%) and movie theaters (at 0.3% for revenues over $20,000) are currently based on gross receipts.
Council approved a change to the implementation date from July 1, 2021, to January 1, 2022, in accordance with Section 7.04.680(B). The staff has met on several occasions with a coalition of Richmond businesses and presented at both Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council (RNCC) and Economic Development Commission (EDC).
In meeting with the business coalition that included representatives from West Contra Costa County Council of Business and Industry and Richmond Chamber of Commerce, staff has gathered a listing of concerns and uncertainties around definitions of certain terms, and clarification around the implementation of the ordinance. Please reference the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for more information. To make sure you are notified of additional updates, please subscribe to the Measure U Implementation Updates Sign-up!
Business Data Sheet (to estimate gross receipts)
All Businesses - Over 9,000 sent
All businesses with expired licenses since 1/31/2022 - 1,900 sent
January 21, 2022
Measure U - Update postcard
All businesses with active licenses and expired licenses since July 2018 - 4,044
January 26, 2022
Social Media/Direct Outreach
Social media campaign notifying the public of new resources available
March 28, 2022
Measure U - Renewal Notices
All expired Businesses received a physical renewal notice and letter
Have questions about Measure U implementation or your business's new assessed tax rate? Schedule a fifteen (15) minute one-on-one meeting with Finance Staff members to answer your questions. Follow this Calendly Link to reserve a time;
Virtual - Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am-Noon [link provided with registration]
In-Person - Walk-up Wednesday from 9 am-Noon
Updates to Measure U
During the December 21, 2021 Richmond City Council Meeting, City staff introduced an ordinance that would allow landlords with four or less residential units to credit their paid Rent Board fees against their gross receipt tax obligation.
Resolution No. 138-21 - Authorizing the business license division of the finance department to offer an amnesty program for the Business License Tax
Resolution No. 159-21 - Authorizing A credit of the full amount of fees paid to the Rent Board towards their business Tax for owners of four units or less in the City of Richmond
Pursuant to Section 7.04.670 of the City of Richmond Gross Receipts Business Tax Measure U, the Director of Finance, upon delegation from the City Manager, may adopt Administrative Rulings to clarify certain sections of the Measure U Gross Receipts Tax Ordinance approved by the Richmond voters in November 2020.