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April 02, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, April 02, 2004

City gets car tax gift City gets car tax gift (April 02, 2004)

Anonymous resident says rebate belongs to local government

By Grace Rauh

A woman sent the city a $225.58 personal check last month, marking the first time a local resident has donated a vehicle license fee refund back to Mountain View.

In a handwritten letter that accompanied the check, the woman, who declined to give her name, wrote that the vehicle license fee refund belongs to the city. She signed the letter "Sincerely -- no, Fondly."

"We were very surprised," said City Manager Kevin Duggan. "It was a very nice gesture on this person's part."

The vehicle license fee -- also known as the car tax -- funds local government services like libraries and public safety. Former Gov. Gray Davis tripled the fee last fall, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lowered it shortly after taking office. As promised during his campaign, the new governor also slipped a refund check for eligible Californians in the mail.

Residents have donated money to Mountain View in the past but it is usually earmarked for a specific project or given in someone's memory, Duggan said. This is the first time he has seen a resident send a check in the same amount as a state refund. The woman's check will be deposited in the city's account and will be used to fund general operations.

"In theory, it could end up being used for a little bit of a lot of different things," Duggan said. This is "one way that one individual can have an impact, even in a small way."

E-mail Grace Rauh at [email protected]


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