No on Proposition H

Del Mar’s Proposition H grants the City Council the authority to increase the city’s transient occupancy tax, or TOT, charged to hotel guests from its current 10.5 percent up to 13 percent.

The key word here is authority. This is not a definitive raising of the rate, only an approval for a future rise as council members see fit.

That proviso though, we believe, will be a confusing one to voters. There is no definition to the measure; it is not black and white, only a shade of gray. You are voting for something that may or may not happen.

Adding to the confusion was a recent brouhaha over wording in a retracted ordinance that allowed for consideration of a future tourism marketing district. Fearing the marketing district tax would cut into revenues for the city, a group of former Del Mar mayors and council members wrote a ballot argument against Prop H. Although they later backed off on their opposition when the ordinance was axed, the argument still appears in the ballot pamphlet.

There is a compelling argument that resident taxpayers bear the brunt of the estimated two million visitors each year to the city’s beaches and that the tax would be paid for by visitors only. But large portions of those beach visitors are not hotel guests only. Wouldn’t a better plan of attack be to continue intensive revitalization efforts and keep hotel guests and all visitors, for that matter, in the city and spending sales tax-generating dollars? If that sounds like better marketing of the city, as a tourism destination, so be it. Isn’t that what all this revitalization is about anyway?

City Council members have also said any future TOT increase will keep the city competitive with the rates of neighboring cities. Really? To us, providing a competitive hotel rate would be one that is cheaper than neighboring hotels and gives hotels a better chance to attract travelers who these days, are watching their spending very carefully.

The one plus in the discretionary aspect of this measure is that the Tot raise will not be performed immediately. That’s a good thing, because in a recessionary economy with dwindling credit and drops in discretionary spending, raising taxes on hotel guests would not be a wise move.

We are going to recommend a No vote on Proposition H. We believe it is ultimately unfair to voters to ask their opinion on an issue without allowing them to definitively decide its outcome. If this measure does pass though, we hope that in the future before raising the TOT, council members will seriously take into consideration prevailing economic conditions. In these times, our hoteliers and the city for that matter, needs all the help they can get attracting business.

Related posts:

  1. TOT hike set for November ballot
  2. TOT worries addressed by council
  3. Tourism tax proposal set for fall ballot
  4. Tourism marketing ordinance officially rescinded
  5. Hotel tax raise to be decided

Short URL:

Posted by on Oct 30, 2008. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6



  • Look how you’ve grown! La Jolla Secret Garden tour celebrates 16 years
    The upcoming Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla, a fundraiser for the La Jolla Historical Society, has come a long way from its first venture in 1999. Event co-founder Linda Marrone said, over time, the committee came up with ways to change and improve the tour, creating the “successful” event it is today. […]
  • La Jolla Community Calendar April 17-24
    Bird Rock Elementary will hold new student registration for the 2014-2105 school year, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 in the Bird Rock Elementary auditorium, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave. An enrollment packet can be picked up in the office in advance to be completed before the registration date. (858) 488-0537. […]
  • Thanks for the non-memories
    When I considered whether to go to my 40th high school reunion — my first reunion ever — the first thing I thought about was whether I’d have to confront my high school nemesis, Medusa (not her real name). […]