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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Local

City of Artesia
Measure BB - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Failing

1,210 votes yes (46.43%)

1,396 votes no (53.57%)

Shall a measure be adopted amending the Artesia Municipal Code to increase the Transient Occupancy Tax rate from 12.5% to 15%, providing approximately $84,000 in additional annual revenue until ended by voters to maintain general City services such as public safety, parks and recreation services, maintaining public infrastructure like streets, sidewalks, parks and facilities; and applying the tax to all rent charged to hotel guests, including by online travel and short term rental companies, for transient occupancy of any hotel?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Christi Hogin, Interim City Attorney

The City of Artesia ("City") currently imposes a transient occupancy tax ("TOT"), also generally known as a "hotel" tax, at the rate of twelve and one-half percent (12.5%) of rent paid in order to occupy a room or space in a hotel or similar lodging (referred to herein as a "hotel"). This TOT is imposed upon occupancy of a room or hotel space within the City, for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes, for a period of thirty (30) consecutive days or less. The TOT currently provides approximately $422,200.00 annually to the General Fund to pay for general City services and programs.

Measure "BB" was placed on the ballot by the Artesia City Council and, if approved by a majority of Artesia voters, will amend the Municipal Code to increase the maximum TOT rate from twelve and one-half percent (12.5%) to fifteen percent (15%) of the rent paid by guests in order to occupy a room or space in a hotel. The tax rate set by Measure "BB" can be increased or decreased by the City Council, provided it does not exceed the voter-approved maximum rate. It is anticipated that this rate increase will generate an additional $84,000.00 in new revenues.

Measure "BB" would also update the Code to clarify that the tax applies to the full rent paid by the hotel guest for occupancy, whether payment is made directly to a hotel operator or to a third-party "rental agent" for booking purposes (i.e., online travel companies and online short term rental companies). Measure BB includes other technical updates to address block reservations, claiming a TOT tax exemption, and how to calculate days of taxable hotel occupancy.

Measure "BB" would be a "general tax". All revenue from this tax would be deposited into the City's General Fund and could be used for general City operations and services, including public safety, parks and recreation services, and maintaining public infrastructure such as streets, sidewalks, parks and facilities. Pursuant to State Law, a "general tax" requires approval by a majority of the City's voters voting at an election.

A "yes" vote on Measure "BB" will approve the TOT tax rate increase.

A "no" vote on Measure "BB" will not approve the TOT tax rate increase.

If Measure "BB" is not approved, the General Fund will not receive the TOT tax revenues identified in this Measure. The City Council will then have to decide, as part of the budgeting process, whether or not other revenues are available to pay for City Programs and services, or whether City programs and services will have to be reduced.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote Yes on Measure "BB" to provide funding for public safety, parks and recreation services, maintain streets, sidewalks, parks, and facilities.
The City currently has a 12.5% transient occupancy tax ("hotel tax"), which is paid by visitors staying in hotels or similar lodgings within the City.

A Yes vote on Measure "BB" will increase the hotel tax from 12.5% to 15%. It is estimated this rate increase will generate an additional $84,000 in new revenues each year. A benefit of this tax is that the burden to pay the tax only effects those who stay in hotels, and not the residents of the City.

A Yes vote would mean more revenue available to fund general City operations and services, including public safety, parks and recreation services, and maintaining public infrastructure such as streets, sidewalks, parks, and facilities. If Measure "BB" is not approved, the City will not receive the additional $84,000 each year. The City Council will then have to decide whether or not other revenues are available to pay for City programs and services, or whether City programs and services will have to be reduced. The Council's goal is to expand, not reduce, services.

Please join the City Council in voting Yes on Measure "BB" to create new revenue to fund general City operations and services.

ALI TAJ
Mayor

Arguments AGAINST

NO ARGUMENT AGAINST THIS MEASURE WAS SUBMITTED
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