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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Contra Costa County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Measure U
Transient Occupancy Tax
City of San Ramon

2/3 Approval Required

10,591 / 48.6% Yes votes ...... 11,182 / 51.4% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 15 1:28pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (37/37)
82.9% Voter Turnout (418,335/504,505)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall the San Ramon Municipal Code section A9-23 be amended to increase the Transient Occupancy Tax from seven and one-quarter percent (7.25%) to ten percent (10%) over a period of time, a portion of which increase to be used for economic development purposes?

Impartial Analysis from City Counsel
A transient occupancy tax is collected for the privilege of occupancy of hotel rooms. The tax is collected from transient occupants of hotel rooms by hotel operators and remitted to the City.

This measure, if approved by two-thirds of the voters voting on the measure, will increase the authorized transient occupancy tax rate in steps over a period of five years beginning January 1, 2005 from the current rate of 7.25% to a maximum rate of 10% on January 1, 2009.

The measure if approved would also designate .75% of the rate as a special tax that will be annually appropriated for economic development purposes. The remaining amount of the tax rate would be available for general city government purposes. If the measure is not approved the existing 7.25% transient occupancy tax rate will remain in place as a general-purpose tax.

The measure, to increase the transient occupancy tax, as set forth in Ordinance No. 366, will continue to primarily fund general municipal services such as police, road maintenance, park maintenance, and recreation services. The special purpose portion of the tax, which is .75% of the rate, will be designated for economic development purposes. The special tax purpose portion of the tax must be placed in a special fund and can only be used for these purposes and incidental expenses related to these purposes.

The measure calls for the transient occupancy tax to increase over time as follows:

8.0% - January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2005

8.5% - January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006

9.0% - January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007

9.5% - January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008

10.0% - January 1, 2009 and thereafter

The measure also provides for the City Council to conduct a public hearing in the November prior to each scheduled tax increase commencing with the increase of January 1, 2006, and unless the increase is deferred by the City Council, the rate increase will become effective on January 1st of the following year.

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Arguments For Measure U Arguments Against Measure U
A "Yes" vote on Measure U will not raise taxes to residents of San Ramon, and is only paid by visitors staying in hotels and motels in the City.

A "Yes" vote on Measure U does generate additional funding to provide local services and to promote the economic health of the community.

We urge you to raise the City's Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from the existing 7.25% rate to 10% over a four-year period of time. TOT is a charge placed on hotel and motel bills paid by guests visiting San Ramon. The TOT helps insure that visitors help to pay for City services they are benefiting from while staying in San Ramon.

By increasing the TOT additional funds will become available to pay for vital City services such as police protection, park maintenance, senior center, recreation programs and street maintenance. Additional funding for these services is vital to maintaining the high quality of life San Ramon residents expect. It will also help offset the five million dollars in annual sales tax revenue the City lost during the recession, and nearly two million more City property tax dollars the State plans to divert because of its own deficit.

We also need to bolster economic development efforts to stay competitive with other communities and Measure U helps to do this by providing a .75% portion of the TOT rate to fund economic development activities.

San Ramon's current TOT rate of 7.25% is one of the lowest around. Walnut Creek and Concord's is 10%, and Dublin and Pleasanton's is 8%.

Please join us in voting "Yes" for Measure U to maintain quality City services.

H. Abram Wilson, Mayor City of San Ramon, Finance Committee Chair

Scott Perkins, Councilmember City of San Ramon, Finance Committee Member

Toby Brink, President/CEO San Ramon Chamber of Commerce

Mary Hanson, Chairperson Economic Development Advisory Committee

None filed.

Full Text of Measure U
A. Pursuant to the authority of Sections 7280 and 7281 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, for the privilege of occupancy in any hotel, each transient is subject to and shall pay a tax in the amount of eight percent, effective January 1, 2005 and thereafter as adjusted in subsection B and C hereof, of the rent charged by the operator. Such tax constitutes a debt owed by the transient to the city which is extinguished only by payment to the operator or to the city. The transient shall pay the tax to the operator of the hotel at the time the rent is paid. If the rent is paid in installments, a proportionate share of the tax shall be paid with each installment. The unpaid tax shall be shall be due upon the transient's ceasing to occupy space in the hotel. If, for any reason, the tax due is not paid to the operator of the hotel, the tax administrator may require such tax shall be paid to the tax administrator.

B. The City Council shall conduct a public hearing to consider the matter at the first regular meeting of the City Council in November of each year commencing 2005, and unless deferred by the City Council, the rate to be charged will be as indicated below:

8.5% - January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006

9.0% - January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007

9.5% - January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008

10.0% - January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009

C. In those years that the City Council elects to defer the increase in the rate as indicated in Section B, the rate shall remain as it was for the year in which the deferral action was taken.

D. Funds in an amount equaling .75% if the rate of the special tax in effect at the time of collection will be annually appropriated for economic development.

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:29 PST
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