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City aims to secure revenue

Ballot measure may be sought to protect the city against lawsuits.

June 16, 2010|By Christopher Cadelago

Voters could also be asked to consider new or increased taxes on hotel parking and rooms.

A 1% hotel bed-tax-rate bump would drive revenue by $500,000. Officials could also try to bump up a 12% parking tax that has been in place since 2005.

A 1% increase there could bring in an additional $215,000 annually to the General Fund.

Hotel owners would also be more inclined to back a proposal that funded business marketing rather than schools and libraries, Flad said.

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"I know the Marriott was resistant, but maybe they won't be if it's packaged in a way that's attractive to them," Mayor Anja Reinke said. "It's pretty low-cost, and if it drives the economy I am in favor of it."

But Councilman David Gordon expressed some concern with how the proposals would affect smaller hotels.

"I am paying $1,000 extra a year on my property tax so that we can have some flowers and trees between the sidewalk. It's not helping my business at all," said Gordon, an optometrist. "I am not worried about the big hotels. They have national marketing; they're all over the Internet. I am worried about the smaller ones, of which we have a number."

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