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Supes Spar Over Hotel Tax Increase


Thursday, August 7, 2014
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Measure O ​— ​the November ballot item asking voters to increase the hotel bed tax in the county’s unincorporated regions from 10 percent to 12.5 percent ​— ​is a “sensible proposal” that would only be felt by visitors and could yield an extra $1.9 million for the county to spend on public safety, social services, and infrastructure, argued Supervisor Steve Lavagnino (on behalf of three of his colleagues) in recently released ballot language. Supervisor Peter Adam countered it would force tourists elsewhere and criticized his coworkers for championing this after denouncing Measure M, the failed June initiative that would have pegged millions of dollars annually to maintenance spending. If a majority of voters okay Measure O, the new rate would take effect in January.

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How can anyone think an increase, something as small as 2.5%, would turn off tourists from visiting (rhetorical, as I know who would complain)? And it's not as if the people who visit are out in front of a 7-11 with a cup in their hand. I'd say push it even higher but baby steps I guess. Kudos to those of you who proposed Measure M and those who will hopefully vote for it.

hi5vonhayes (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 10:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is Measure O hi5 and I'm both happy to agree with you and to see you're a genuine commentator as well.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 10:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You mean 12.5%, don't you?

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 10:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh bless the stars, Ken has accepted me as a GC... I can go now, Lord, I'm ready!

hi5vonhayes (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 6:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It may not be a big deal in Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez which have much more wealth and likely to attract wealthier tourists, but to a working-class place such as Lompoc (Adam's district) I may have an adverse effect.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 6:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I work for a company that does events bringing 100-400 people into town. The current hotel tax has madeus consider going elsewhere, 12.5% will help drive us out. 8% sales tax and 12.5% hotel tax, drives up cost considerably when talking about 100+ rooms.

loneranger (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 6:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Not so fast hi5, you haven't been properly hazed. :) Good point BC.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 6:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hi5 must be sponsored by at least four bloggers. I am willing to give her a chance, Sevendolphins and Dolphinpod14 are disqualified because they cram multiple beings under one screen name. If her husband is a blogger, he cannot sponsor her due to a conflict of interest. Then, and only then, she must submit to the hazing of Ken Volok, which may include being forced to sit through a County Bored (sic) of Supervisors meeting, and have to take notes.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 6:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What about me, can I sponsor her?

FoolPt (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 6:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No you can't, since by your own admission, you are a cyber-spawn creation of Foofighter and Loonpt.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 6:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why should YOU Foolpt get special consideration? Of course U cant be a sponsor, as UR a cybercombo.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 7:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

PS, not a woman, but thanks for telling me I have a woman's voice! Bill and Lone, if you're saying that the increase would have an effect then egg on my face. I just can't see how it would have such an impact that the lost revenue from decreased tourists would negate the tax. I mean, do people really even look at the tax when booking? I sure as he'll don't. Well, I at least appreciate the effort on the proposer's part; ask,the people who visit and use up our 'x' share the load.

hi5vonhayes (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 9:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Like water, do you know where our water comes from yet hi5 :?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 9:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We'll there is that water article posted today or yesterday that helped me a bit but still in the dark. Facts aren't really my thing.

hi5vonhayes (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 10:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ill be sure to quote you on that the next time we disagree!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 10:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bill, O is only for unincorporated areas so it doesn't affect Lompoc which has its own TOT rate. I don't think there are any affected hotels in the 4th district at all.

Bajades (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 10:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So basically the BoS are just spinning their wheels and looking important?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 11:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think you had mentioned having a husband Hi5, so simple percentages led me to believe you were probably a woman.

Anyway, I think you should consider two things: One, ask yourself if *this* increase will solve whatever shortfalls are occurring; (I will bet within a few years they will up the bed tax yet again) and second: While it's too early to tell which one of us might have egg on our face, I would strongly argue that Lompoc and Santa Ynez/Santa Barbara are apples and oranges economically, but Bajades is saying it won't affect Lompoc proper, and if that's the case, my argument would only stand theoretically.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 8, 2014 at 3:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, I did mention I have a husband. He's a nice guy. I don't think the tax increase will solve anything--$2 million will get you a "normal" sized house in Montecito, not make a dent in public safety, social services, etc.,--but it's something. I just appreciate people being creative (not that this is entirely creative, but still) in terms of taking money from the people who have it and are spending it on wants as opposed to needs, and using said money on our social services. Taxing people a bit more who visit our town and giving it (hopefully that's where it goes) to programs intended to improve the lives of the citizens who live here is something I am all for. But no, in reality an increase that small and only netting a supposed profit of $2 million isn't going to do jack (unfortunately).

hi5vonhayes (anonymous profile)
August 8, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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