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VOTE: Do You Support a Transient Occupancy Tax Increase?

Take our poll and let us know if you support either a two percent, one percent or no tax hotel and motel tax rate increase.

At today's 3 p.m. City Council meeting, the Santa Cruz City Council will consider whether to move forward in placing one of two tax increase proposals on the November 6 ballot.

Both affect to the city's Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), a tax charged through hotels and motels to visitors and tourists. Currently, the rate sits at 10 percent. The city has proposed increasing the rate to 12 percent, a jump that would bring .

Local hoteliers, represented by the Santa Cruz Lodging Association, say a two percent increase would kill their competitive edge, sending guests to Monterey or elsewhere. They've countered with an 11 percent rate plus an offer to lift the city's annual obligation to provide $330,511 to the Conference and Visitors Council. Representatives from the association presented their alternative to the council during its meeting Tuesday night.

According to finance director Marc Pimentel, an 11 percent rate would bring $440,000 to the general fund annually.

The purpose of a TOT increase would be to bolster the city's ability to fund economic development tied to job recruitment and retention, councilman Ryan Coonerty explained during the meeting. The city is heading into the 2012-2013 fiscal year with .

Patch wants to know where you stand on these two proposals. Do you think the 12 percent rate is better suited for the city's fiscal needs? Or is an 11 percent rate more reasonable for businesses?

Do you believe a tax increase of any kind is the wrong road to follow?

Take the poll below to voice your opinion. If you have a solution to raising city funds not presented, let us know. Don't forget to tell us why you voted for one proposal or another in the comments, either.

Brian Friesen July 11, 2012 at 07:08 PM
"They've countered with an 11 percent rate plus an offer to lift the city's annual obligation to provide $330,511 to the Conference and Visitors Council." ---Sounds reasonable to me.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Hotel tax increases are one of the only ones (maybe the only) that don't affect locals bank accounts. Is that incentive for them to pass?
Michelle Fitzsimmons July 11, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Thank you for the input, Jacob. Really good point.
Brad Kava (Editor) July 12, 2012 at 04:38 AM
We are like those people in the experiment who give what they think are electric shocks to other people...we are happy to pass hotel taxes because we think they don't affect us...but whenever you travel, some other city had the same bright idea, so we all get shocked in the end.
John Jones July 25, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Transient taxes of any kind violate ancient traditions of hospitality, Such taxes are bad manners as a matter of statute.

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