Update on Transit Occupancy Tax Measures in San Mateo County
Residents in Half Moon Bay, San Bruno, and San Mateo voted to increase their city’s transient occupancy tax (TOT), a tax paid by visitors who rent accommodations for stays shorter than 30 days. Measures U, X, and W have the potential to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased annual revenues to the cities, which is critically needed as jurisdictions continue to be impacted by our current economic downturn and public health crisis. As cities engage in future budgeting processes, they can utilize budget equity tools to better understand the equity impacts of their budget decisions and how to allocate resources in a manner that best responds to the economic, social, and health needs of low-income people and people of color, who have been disproportionately impacted throughout the pandemic. East Palo Alto’s TOT Measure V fell just short of winning a two-third’s vote needed to pass, which would have earmarked their tax revenues for affordable housing development.