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Smart Voter
Orange County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Measure L
Transient Occupancy Tax
City of Costa Mesa

Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 14,227 / 52.2% Yes votes ...... 13,048 / 47.8% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 6 2:58pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (70/70)
55.4% Voter Turnout (898,205/1,621,934)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis |
Impartial Analysis from Kimberly Hall Barlow
City Attorney
Measure L would increase the transient occupancy tax within the City of Costa Mesa from six percent (6%) to eight percent (8%). Currently, there is a tax within the City of six percent (6%) on the temporary occupancy of all hotel rooms and other temporary dwellings, as defined in the City's municipal code. Measure L proposes to increase only the amount of an existing tax.

Measure L does not change the method of collection of the existing tax, and all regulations relating to the existing tax are proposed to remain the same if Measure L is approved by the voters. The proposed tax increase would continue to be collected, for instance, by hotel operators, and would continue to be paid by those occupying hotel rooms or other temporary dwellings within the City. The funds generated by this tax are currently deposited into the City's General Fund for the payment of regular expenses of the City, including public safety and regular operating expenses, and these procedures would continue to be followed as to the proposed increased tax amount if Measure L is approved.

According to the League of California Cities, more than 400 California cities and 55 counties impose a transient occupancy tax; the most common rate is 10 percent; and the average tax collected accounts for nearly 8 percent of an average city's general fund revenues. Some Orange County cities have a transient occupancy tax as high as 15 percent, while others have no transient occupancy tax or have a tax in an amount less than 10 percent. The median transient occupancy tax in the County is 10%. Of those cities which have a transient occupancy tax, no Orange County city has a lower rate than Costa Mesa.

Since Measure L proposes a general tax increase, state law requires that this measure be approved by a majority of voters. If a majority of voters do not approve Measure L, the proposed tax increase will not take effect and the City's transient occupancy tax will remain unchanged.

The transient occupancy tax currently provides approximately $4 million of the City's general fund revenue, or approximately 4.81% of the City's general fund operating budget, which is used primarily for provision of the City's basic services such as public safety, transportation, parks and other general services. The proposed increase would be expected to generate an additional $1.3 million per year in general fund revenue to fund City services.

A "YES" VOTE ON THE MEASURE will increase the existing general transient occupancy tax on hotel rooms within the City from 6% to 8%.

A "NO" VOTE ON THE MEASURE will keep the existing general transient occupancy tax on hotel rooms within the City at 6%.

Dated: July 6, 2010

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Created: January 6, 2011 14:58 PST
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