The electorate (at least those few who bothered to vote on Tuesday) decided to increase the transient occupancy tax from 10% to 12%, a rate still below those of most of the local communities. The vote of 2,963 (65.41%) vs. 1,567 (34.59%) was decisive. It is estimated that the tax increase on what is normally referred to as a hotel tax should raise an additional $400,000 per year in revenue for the City.
According to the ballot measure, the monies raised will fund general City services such as public safety, parks, recreation, and senior services. Council Member Gloria Crudgington said that the measure was “another example of our preparations for the future.”
Crudgington said that City Manager Oliver Chi had assured her that the local hotel managers had agreed that the “hotel tax” would not bar individuals from staying in the city.
One concern that some voters voiced was that the funds raised by the increase would be restricted to the examples cited in the ballot measure statement. Crudgington explained that this was not the case as the monies were destined for the City’s general fund not restricted to public safety, parks and recreation, and senior services.