County Placing Bed Tax Item on November Ballot

The county supervisors voted 4-1 to place a hotel-bed-tax measure ​— ​up to 12 percent from 10 percent ​— ​on the November ballot. The jump would apply to unincorporated areas of the county and is the same as in the cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta. If passed, the jump would translate into a $2 million annual increase to the general fund. Supervisor Steve Lavagnino argued it “is a perfect example of a time when a tax actually makes sense,” noting he “would have liked to do this four years ago.” The sole dissenter, Supervisor Peter Adam, contended the measure fails to tell “the people what we are spending the money on.” In 2014, during notably low voter turnout, a similar measure was shot down by 58 percent of voters.

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