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San Diego Officials Eye Increased Hotel Tourist Tax



Officials in San Diego are pushing for a new measure that would increase the tax charged to hotel guests by as much as 30 percent, the Times of San Diego reported.

The Yes! For a Better San Diego campaign is aimed at raising money to fund important civic projects throughout the city, including providing aid to the homeless population, developing the San Diego Convention Center and repairing roads.

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If successful, the tax charged to hotel visitors would increase anywhere from 1.25 to 3.25 percentage points, with hotels closer to downtown seeing a larger increase compared to properties farther away from the city center. The current transient occupancy tax is 10.5 percent and 12.5 percent for hotels with 70 rooms or more, according to the Times of San Diego.

Through the year 2060, the proposed increase is projected to raise $2 billion to combat homelessness, $3.8 billion to expand and maintain the San Diego Convention Center and another $604 million to put toward city road repairs.

The initiative has support from several key players, including San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, the San Diego Tourism Authority and major local business groups, among others.

“We need this funding source,” Faulconer said via “We need a permanent source of funding for homeless services. We need to expand our convention center and the dollars this will mean for road improvement. These are the issues that San Diegans care about. And I think that’s why you see such broad and deep public support for getting this done.”

The California Coastal Commission has already approved a plan to add 50 percent more floor space to the convention center’s main hall by expanding the bayside.

“They want to make sure that we’re able to retain those large wonderful conventions like Comic-Con here in San Diego,” added Kerri Kapich of the San Diego Tourism Authority. “They want to see that the city has more resources to apply to the issue around homelessness and they’re also looking for the opportunity to make the quality of life better by improving our roads.”

The tax measure is on the ballot for the March 2020 presidential primary.

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