'Bed tax' measure could go to Santa Barbara County voters this November
Voters in Santa Barbara County will likely have a say this November on whether to raise a tax aimed at tourists to the area.
The County currently has a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) of ten percent. This is sometimes referred to as a "bed tax." It's the rate charged per hotel room, per night.
County supervisors voted four-to-one on Tuesday to put a measure on the November ballot to raise this rate to 12 percent in the unincorporated areas. Supervisor
Peter Adam was the only one to vote against the idea. The other supervisors say it's time visitors to the unincorporated areas pay a tax that's in-line with surrounding cities.
Joe Armendariz, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association, told KCBX that he's opposed to the increase because the money generated will not have a specified purpose. Also, because it will end up in the general fund, it will only require a majority vote of 50 percent plus one under California law.
A second reading and vote by the supervisors still needs to take place next month.
A similar measure was placed on the 2014 ballot and failed by a wide margin of roughly 42 to 58 percent.