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Smart Voter
San Mateo County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Measure I
Special Tax
City of South San Francisco

2/3 Approval Required

10,161 / 69.4% Yes votes ...... 4,481 / 30.6% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 15 1:37pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (36/36)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the City of South San Francisco be authorized to add a one percent (1%) increment on the existing hotel tax, paid by guests and collected by hotel operators, raising the total tax imposed from 8% of the room rate to 9% of the room rate, with the revenue from said increment reserved for park, recreation, library and public safety services?

Impartial Analysis from Steven T. Mattas, City Attorney
Transient occupancy tax is a tax that is imposed on the privilege of using overnight lodging facilties, such as hotels, motels, and "bed and breakfast" businesses, and is frequently referred to as a "hotel tax." The current transient occupancy tax rate in South San Francisco is eight percent (8%) of the room rental rate. If approved by two-thirds of the voters at this election, Measure I would authorize a one percent supplemental special tax to the transient occupancy tax. The result would be a transient occupancy tax rate of nine percent (9%).

The additional tax revenues received if this measure is approved may only be used to public fund safety, park, library, and recreation services. The supplemental tax proposed in Measure I is special tax and therefore requires that two-thirds of the voters approve Measure I for the special tax to be adapted.

The existing transient occupancy tax, adopted in August 1966, was last increased in 1978 to the current rate of eight percent (8%). In addition, the voters of South San Francisco have previously approved a special tax of $2.50 per room night to fund the acquisition, renovation, maintenance and operation of the South San FRancisco Conference Center. Measure I will not modify the existing eight percent transient occupancy tax and the existing special tax to benefit the Conference Center. The current transient occupancy tax of eight percent and the current special tax of $2.50 per room night will remain in effect regardless of whether Measure I is approved or not approved by the voters in this election.

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Arguments For Measure I Arguments Against Measure I
South San Francisco's General Fund levies a tax on hotel occupancy at the rate of 8%. Most other cities on the Peninsula already have a 10% tax on hotel occupancy. Measure I would increase South San Francisco's hotel tax levy to 9%. This tax is largely paid by out of town visitors, NOT BY CITY RESIDENTS. For a $75 hotel room, hotel visitors would pay only an extra 75 cents per night from this increased tax.

Funds from this tax measure, if approved by South San Francisco voters, would be put in a special fund to help preserve and restore services in the General Fund that have been cut dramatically over the past 3 years in the areas of public safety, libraries, and parks and recreation. Besides the economic slowdown, our city has lost millions of dollars to the State of California over the past 3 years and as a result has had to cut $7.0 million in programs and services in areas such as:

  • Public Safety: reduction of police officers, code enforcement and fire prevention staff, as well as fire personnel that are available to respond to emergencies;

  • Library: reduction of the number of days and hours open at the Grand Ave. and West Orange Libraries;

  • Parks: one parks worker has been eliminated, and materials to keep the parks clean and green have been slashed;

  • Recreation: reduction in weekend staffing at various locations as well as a reduction in childcare staffing, and elimination of some classes for the community.

If Measure I passes, funds would go a long way towards preserving and restoring some of these vital services. Please vote yes on Measure I.

/s/ Joe Fernekes City Councilmember, City of South San Francisco

/s/ Ray Green City Councilmember, City of South San Francisco

No Argument Against Measure I Submitted

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:37 PST
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