Plans to open a Tesla showroom in Burlingame will be discussed by the Planning Commission Monday but the possibility of disagreeing about sales tax revenue remains.
On Monday, the Burlingame Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on a conditional use permit application to allow the electronic car company to open a sales and service shop at 50 Edwards Court. Work is already being done to use the space as a Tesla service center. The vote, which will allow the sale of vehicles at the Burlingame location, was postponed from earlier this month to allow the Burlingame city attorney to work with Tesla regarding sales tax.
Burlingame’s position is it should get tax revenue since the sales take place in its city. On the other hand, Tesla’s model has been to pay the tax to wherever the car is delivered, Tesla representative Matthew Mefford wrote in a January letter to the city. For example, if a San Mateo resident orders a car and, once completed, the car is delivered to his or her home, then that city would get the sales tax. One of the conditions of the permit’s approval, as suggested by staff, is that Burlingame would get the tax revenue from sales from this site.
The selected Burlingame location is highly visible from Highway 101 in the Rollins Road light industrial area north of Broadway. Previously used as a distribution facility, the new Tesla location is proposed to have a 2,283-square-foot showroom in the front of the building. Up to five vehicles could be displayed indoors. Since vehicles are built to order, no other vehicles will be stored on site, according to the application. Finalized orders are submitted and the vehicle is then produced at the Fremont facility. The car can then be delivered directly to the customer or to the Burlingame facility using a truck and a 20-foot trailer.
The commission meets 7 p.m. Monday, April 22 at City Hall, 501 Primrose Road.