Business / Economy

City voters to decide on transient occupancy tax increase

Officials hope increase to 12 percent will raise funds for tourism promotion efforts

Voters in the city of Hollister will decide in November whether to raise the transient occupancy tax to 12 percent from the 8 percent rate that has been collected since 1986 from hotels, motels and other establishments where people stay for fewer than 30 days at a time. County voters will consider the same rate increase, which requires a simple majority to pass.

In fiscal year 2013-14, the city collected nearly $116,000 from the tax, down from $128,155.50 in 2012-13, though there are receipts not received or posted from the fourth quarter. Just more than $123,000 was collected in fiscal year 2011-12.

In a report to the city council on July 21, City Manager William Avera said the city and county have been working on similar tax increase measures to raise revenue that could be used for marketing the area to would-be visitors. The council recently set aside $50,000 for marketing efforts.

Since the transient occupany tax is a general tax with no specific use of funds designated, it requires just a simple majority for passage.

Adam Breen

Adam Breen has been a San Benito County resident since 1980 and graduated from Sacred Heart School and San Benito High School before earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno. A father of two sons, Adam has taught newspaper, English and yearbook at SBHS for the past decade, after six years as a magazine editor for Santa Clara University. He previously was editor of the Hollister Free Lance and content director for BenitoLink.