Editorial: Yes on Measure B to increase hotel tax


Palo Alto Measure B would increase the city's transient occupancy tax, the tax added to hotel bills for visitors, from 12 percent to 14 percent.

The increased revenue, estimated to be more than $2 million a year, would go into the city's general fund, but in placing the proposal on the ballot the City Council has made clear the money will be allocated to addressing infrastructure needs, including seismic upgrades to fire stations and other street and parking improvements. It is an important piece to a broader strategy of funding infrastructure improvements.

Opposition has come from the Chamber of Commerce and the hotels whose guests will have to absorb the additional 2 percent tax. They argue the increase will put Palo Alto hotels at a competitive disadvantage to those in other cities where the tax is less, and question the rationale of using these tax revenues to fund infrastructure projects.

The tax increase, which only requires a simple majority vote, is a politically easy way to generate an additional couple of million dollars a year. Two percent of a $200 hotel room amounts to an additional $4, surely not enough to change any visitors' decision on where to book a hotel room.

While not the optimal way to fund needed city services, it has become a convenient strategy for cities as a way to avoid the two-thirds approval requirements for raising the property tax under Prop. 13 or passing a bond measure.

Vote "yes" on Measure B.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


2 people like this
Posted by Sea REDDY
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Dear Palo Alto Citizens

Please say no to new 2% tax increase for mostly business visitors

The city council and the management have shown evidence that a number of projects have not been managed well and require extensive negotiations and $ to be added on to these projects.

I think it is called 'mismanagement'.

It looks like the Council and the management team will need experienced managers and program managers.

Demand competence, integrity, innovation from your current and new council members

Nothing less you deserve!

Go for the best!

It is your choice/right!


1 person likes this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 31, 2014 at 2:02 am

Yes, I agree, let's not reward the City's mismanagement and incompetence by giving them more money.

It may be the hotels this time, but it will eventually be the rest of us next.

Get rid of the current electable people in this city, it can surely not get much worse and may get better.

(this is not to be read as an endorsement or any particular candidate by the way)

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

DoorDash is opening a shared delivery kitchen in Redwood City. What does that say about the future of the restaurant industry?
By Elena Kadvany | 9 comments | 2,944 views

What did you learn last week?
By Sherry Listgarten | 10 comments | 1,691 views

The holiday season
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 663 views

Bond. Bond Touch.
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 652 views