Measure would offset shortfall by taxing visitors

With a growing budget deficit and mounting financial worries, Half Moon Bay officials are placing their hopes on Tuesday’s ballot with a proposed 2 percent hike in a hotel guest tax.

Measure Q, which needs 55 percent approval to pass, would raise the city’s transit occupancy tax from 10 percent to 12 percent.

For years, the city’s expenses have increased while its revenue has remained static, Mayor Bonnie McClung said.

City officials planned to put the measure on the ballot last year, but postponed their plan after a federal judge awarded $41 million to a developer who sued the city. The city settled with the developer in April, but may still have to pay $18 million.

City officials project Half Moon Bay will face a $1.2 million budget shortfall by the end of next year.

“Now it’s become an emergency situation,” McClung said. “This is a tax that doesn’t tax our residents, it taxes our visitors.”

The proceeds from the 2 percent hike will be put in the city’s general fund to support city services such as libraries, youth and senior facilities, parks, streets and police, McClung said.

But Don Pettengill, treasurer of Coastside Citizens for Good Government, said raising the tax is a mistake for a city for which tourism is the lifeblood.

“Half Moon Bay relies on visitors driving here and spending money. In an economic downturn, people are already coming back,” he said. “The last thing they want to do is pay more for a hotel room.”

tbarak@sfexaminer.com

Measure Q

The initiative needs 55 percent approval to pass.

10 percent: Current transit occupancy tax

12 percent: Proposed transit occupancy tax

Funds to pay: Any governmental purposes, including but not limited to library services, youth and senior facilities, police services, park and recreational facilities, city streets

Source: Half Moon Bay

Bay Area NewsLocalTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Three people killed in SF shootings in less than 24 hours

San Francisco police were scrambling Saturday to respond to a series of… Continue reading

Muni operator Angel Carvajal drives the popular boat tram following a news conference celebrating the return of the historic F-line and subway service on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor, transit officials celebrate return of Muni service

Mayor London Breed and city transit officials gathered Friday to welcome the… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference about a $12 billion package bolstering the state’s response to the homelessness crisis at the Kearney Vista Apartments on May 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Newsom promises sweeping change in California’s $267-billion budget

John Myers Los Angeles Times California would embark on the most ambitious… Continue reading

Most Read