February 2010 home page

  Equal Pay for Visitors
Bud Emerson | Klish Way

The Del Mar City Council is looking into the idea of extending the hotel room tax (TOT) to cover short term vacation rentals in private residences. A number of other cities in California have already adopted short term rental taxes. The underlying rationale for TOT is that visitors should pay their fair share for the costs of maintaining our city which they are here to enjoy.

The current TOT rate is 11.5% per hotel room, per night. Council has voter approval to increase that rate to 13% when they deem it necessary. The Council uses these funds, along with other revenue, to pay for a portion of all city services such as law enforcement, life guarding, fire safety, street maintenance, sewer and water system. Of course, these are services that benefit residents as well as visitors.

A recent check of two internet sites lists rental units available in Del Mar, 121 on one site and 34 on another site. There is no available data on how often these units are actually rented but such rentals have become quite popular as alternatives to hotel stays.

Rough estimates suggest that more than $200,000 in new revenue to the city could be raised from visitors using these units.

Now is the time to give your input to the City Council.


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