Posts Tagged ‘Hotel Tax’
Single family housing that are used for short-term vacation rentals through web services such as Airbnb or VRBO have gotten negative attention here in San Diego of late. Even though the complainants point to specific behaviors they dislike, the underlying tone of the discussion is that they don’t like the sort of people who come to America’s Finest City to vacation.
There is a petition on change.org asking the mayor and the City Council to ban short-term rentals in the city of San Diego. I’m not going to link to the petition because I don’t want you to sign it. A total ban would be ridiculous and an invitation for people to just flaunt the law. However, there are some issues that ought to be dealt with regarding short-term rentals. Some negative comments about short term rentals from my neighbors on Next Door.
In a ruling that certainly disappoints, Judge Steven Denton has dismissed the lawsuit of Mel Shapiro challenging the 2% hotel tax that supports the San Diego Tourism Management District (TMD). The suit was dismissed on the technical grounds that Mr. Shapiro lacked standing to file the suit because he was not an affected hotel owner.
From the U-T:
Bob Filner appears a little unhinged, and frankly unprofessional in a video from local news station NBC 7. He hijacks a news conference by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to make accusations of unprofessional conduct. His view of the role of the City Attorney appears entirely unbalanced. The City Attorney can’t be fired by the mayor, because he is elected directly by the public. Filner’s tactics are those of a bully or a Congressman, not used to the necessity of working with other members of the team. It seems irrational for the mayor to waste political capital on a personal and public fight with another official with whom he must work in the future. His ego is writing a check he may lack the political capital to afford.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has been keeping silent about his views on the 2 percent hotel tax. I previously argued that I thought the tax violated Proposition 26. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith pointed out that the city was taking a risk in the comments section on sdrostra. City Attorney Goldsmith cited his office’s legal opinion which finished with this conclusion:
Prop 26 defines every government imposition of a duty to pay funds to government as a tax unless one of seven enumerated exceptions applies. It is not clear whether the City’s traditional businessbased assessments can meet one of those exceptions. . . .
I find myself partially agreeing with Mayor Filner on the subject of San Diego’s hotel tax. He has stalled on signing the contract that would allow the hoteliers to start using the proceeds to promote tourism and the hotels of San Diego. In an earlier post, I noted that he wanted to use the revenue for “public safety,” but now he is just saying that he had said the tax is illegal. If the tax is illegal, it can’t be used for any activity, including public safety. Meanwhile, the UT article linked above notes that there are lawsuits proceeding against the hotel tax, claiming it violates Proposition 26, passed 2010, which requires a supermajority vote of the people to raise taxes. Here is what the state constitution says about taxes and votes, from Article XIII C, California Constitution: