On June 5th, California will be holding a Statewide Direct Primary Election. In addition to all of the other candidates and issues that voters will be asked to consider on the ballot, here in Monrovia, the City will be considering Measure TT.
So what exactly is Measure TT? If approved by the voters, Measure TT would increase the City’s Transient Occupancy Tax rate from 10% to 12%. The City of Monrovia’s existing Transient Occupancy Tax (“TOT” or “hotel bed tax”) is set at a rate of 10% of the cost of rent charged by the operator. Like many cities across California, this tax is charged to travelers when they stay at a hotel, motel, or other temporary lodging accommodations in Monrovia for a stay of 30 days or less.
The TOT helps ensure that those who visit Monrovia and take advantage of the services they City offers – such as roads, water, sewer, Police and Fire – help pay for the added demand of those services. And just to clarify, the “Transient” in Transient Occupancy Tax is referring to hotel guests, not homeless individuals, and this tax is unrelated to homelessness.
The TOT is one of the City’s primary tax revenue streams, along with sales and property taxes, but it is the only tax that is charged only to visitors who stay temporarily at hotels in the City. Raising the TOT by 2%, from 10% to 12%, will help align Monrovia to what many of its neighbors are charging, while keeping Monrovia hotels competitive in the region. Currently, Monrovia is charging a lower TOT than other jurisdictions to the west of the City. For example, Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale all have effective TOT rates that are set at 12% or higher. Additionally, those communities charge a tourism tax on top of the TOT, so visitors there are paying between 15% – 16%.
To be approved, Measure TT will require voter approval by at least a majority vote. If Measure TT is not approved, Monrovia will continue to collect the tax at a lower rate and will likely have to find other sources of revenue to fund existing levels of service.
Election Day is on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Voters may go to www.lavote.net to look up polling locations and find a copy of the sample ballot. Results are tentatively scheduled for certification by the Register-Recorder/County Clerk on June 29, 2018. Because Measure TT appears near the end of a very long ballot, look for the Measure and be sure to vote on this proposed change to the City’s TOT rate.
The full text of the proposed ordinance and additional details regarding the Special Election may be found on the City Clerk’s Office Elections page.