Next year, it may cost more to stay at a hotel in Menlo Park; in fact the City Council is
Councilmembers unanimously approved draft language for a tax increase Tuesday night, with making the first move to vote and seconding him.
Mayor said when California dissolved ReDevelopment Agencies, which funded projects in lower income areas, the city lost about $1.2 million in annual revenue. This has forced the city to go into , cutting and classes to save money. This fiscal year, the city expects to gain about $2.9 million from the existing version of the tax, according to a staff report prepared for Tuesday's second reading of the draft language.
Altering the this tax, which is known as the Transient Occupancy Tax, requires amending the revenue and finance section of Menlo Park’s municipal code.
It will cost the city about $15,000 to place the measure on the November ballot, according to public records, raising the tax from 10 to 12 percent of the cost of a hotel room. Taxes of this nature are only levied on people who stay in town less than 30 days. Menlo Park voters need to approve it with a majority vote for it to pass.
Carol Augustine, city finance director, expects the enhanced tax to go into effect on January 1, 2013. Augustine projects that the extra tax dollars will add about $280,000 to the city’s coffers for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The City must finish procedural paperwork and submit it to the San Mateo County Elections Office by August 17.
The wording of the ballot question is still being drafted. Here is the version being considered by Council:
"In order to continue to maintain current levels of city services, such as police, emergency preparedness, libraries, youth programs, and maintenance of recreation facilities, streets, storm drains and parks, shall the City of Menlo Park adopt an ordinance to increase the transient occupancy tax on hotel guests from 10% to 12% effective January 1, 2013?"