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Higher hotel tax for East Palo Alto falls below two-thirds needed to pass

Measure V would increase tax on guests who stay less than 30 days in city

Guests at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley Hotel in East Palo Alto would face a higher transient occupancy tax if Measure S is approved by voters. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

UPDATE: As of Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 4:30 p.m., Measure V still did not receive the necessary 66.7% of votes to pass. It had 5,148 "yes" votes, or 64.7% of votes counted, and 2,812 "no" votes, or 35.3%. So far, all but an estimated 200 of the county's ballots have been counted. The next results update will be released on Friday, Nov. 20, at 4:30 p.m.

An increased hotel tax proposal in East Palo Alto backed by this year's City Council candidates hasn't quite gathered enough votes needed to pass, according to San Mateo County's semiofficial election results.

Data available as of Wednesday evening showed Measure V received 2,744 "yes" votes out of the 4,357 total votes counted so far, which comes to a 63% approval rate, according to the semiofficial results from the county's Elections Office. The measure needs a two-thirds majority vote — about 4% more — in order to move forward.

If approved, the proposal would increase the current 12% tax, known as the transient occupancy tax, on short-term guests of the city to 14% by Jan. 1, 2023. Short-term guests are defined as anyone renting a room in East Palo Alto, such as in a hotel or through Airbnb, for 30 consecutive days or less, according to a according to the measure's text. Permanent East Palo Alto residents or homeowners would not be impacted by the higher tax rate.

The measure was created to bring in more money for the city to put towards affordable housing projects. In an impartial analysis from City Attorney Rafael Alvarado Jr., increasing the hotel tax rate by 2% would bring in an estimated $390,000 in annual revenue for East Palo Alto.

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This story will be updated as more results come in.

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Higher hotel tax for East Palo Alto falls below two-thirds needed to pass

Measure V would increase tax on guests who stay less than 30 days in city

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Nov 4, 2020, 5:56 pm
Updated: Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 5:02 pm

UPDATE: As of Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 4:30 p.m., Measure V still did not receive the necessary 66.7% of votes to pass. It had 5,148 "yes" votes, or 64.7% of votes counted, and 2,812 "no" votes, or 35.3%. So far, all but an estimated 200 of the county's ballots have been counted. The next results update will be released on Friday, Nov. 20, at 4:30 p.m.

An increased hotel tax proposal in East Palo Alto backed by this year's City Council candidates hasn't quite gathered enough votes needed to pass, according to San Mateo County's semiofficial election results.

Data available as of Wednesday evening showed Measure V received 2,744 "yes" votes out of the 4,357 total votes counted so far, which comes to a 63% approval rate, according to the semiofficial results from the county's Elections Office. The measure needs a two-thirds majority vote — about 4% more — in order to move forward.

If approved, the proposal would increase the current 12% tax, known as the transient occupancy tax, on short-term guests of the city to 14% by Jan. 1, 2023. Short-term guests are defined as anyone renting a room in East Palo Alto, such as in a hotel or through Airbnb, for 30 consecutive days or less, according to a according to the measure's text. Permanent East Palo Alto residents or homeowners would not be impacted by the higher tax rate.

The measure was created to bring in more money for the city to put towards affordable housing projects. In an impartial analysis from City Attorney Rafael Alvarado Jr., increasing the hotel tax rate by 2% would bring in an estimated $390,000 in annual revenue for East Palo Alto.

This story will be updated as more results come in.

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