Hayward to ask voters to increase hotel tax, allow non-citizens to serve on boards

We are in the middle of a government created recession.  We have schools closed, taxes high, electric outages, jobs lost and a State deficit larger than the budget of 20 States.  Yet, The Left can never get enough of your money.

“Hayward voters will be asked this November to increase its current hotel tax up to 14 percent. A charter amendment to allow non-citizens to serve on city boards and commissions will also appear on the fall ballot, the Hayward City Council decided last week.

Hayward’s 8.5 percent Transient Occupancy Tax, also known as a hotel tax, languishes below the percentage levied by several East Bay cities. By contrast, the rate in Oakland and San Leandro is 14 percent, Union City is 12.87 percent, while Fremont charges 10 percent.

The hotel tax helped swell Hayward’s coffers by $2.8 million over each of the last two fiscal years, Hayward Finance Director Dustin Claussen said. If approved, the measure could yield roughly $3 million a year in revenues.

Guess thy have not noticed but hotels do not have customers, tourists have stopped coming to the State, business people are using ZOOM rather than face to face meetings.  So raise the hotel tax as much as you want—make sure folks do not come to your town.  Economic illiterates run the City of Hayward.

Hayward to ask voters to increase hotel tax, allow non-citizens to serve on boards

East Bay Citizen,  8/24/20 

Hayward voters will be asked this November to increase its current hotel tax up to 14 percent. A charter amendment to allow non-citizens to serve on city boards and commissions will also appear on the fall ballot, the Hayward City Council decided last week.

Hayward’s 8.5 percent Transient Occupancy Tax, also known as a hotel tax, languishes below the percentage levied by several East Bay cities. By contrast, the rate in Oakland and San Leandro is 14 percent, Union City is 12.87 percent, while Fremont charges 10 percent.

The hotel tax helped swell Hayward’s coffers by $2.8 million over each of the last two fiscal years, Hayward Finance Director Dustin Claussen said. If approved, the measure could yield roughly $3 million a year in revenues.

Those gains, however, will not be fully realized for some time as the region faces low hotel occupancy during the pandemic and a continuing recession, he added.

If the hotel tax increase is approved by voters, Claussen recommends the council move to freeze the rate at 8.5 percent, for at least six months after the November election, while local hoteliers recover from the shelter in place.

Hayward hotel owners, in opposing the tax increase, said they have incurred losses during the pandemic of up to 30 percent. Hayward also levies an additional two percent excise tax, they note.

With most municipalities suffering through the recession triggered by the covid-19 pandemic, measures to increase revenues through sales tax increases will be a hard sell. Hotel tax increases, however, have proven successful in many other local cities, and could be recession-proof since they do not typically affect Hayward residents, but travelers from other cities.

The charter amendment coming to the Nov. 3 ballot hopes to allows Hayward’s board and commission to become more inclusive, in addition, to removing gender-based pronouns from the City Charter.

The proposal introduced by the city manager, city attorney, and city clerk aims to give the city greater flexibility for filling its boards and commissions. In the past, they argue, some applicants have been disqualified from consideration for appointments to board and commissions because they were not citizens.

The number of applicants unable to serve, however, is three over the past two years, City Manager Kelly McAdoo said. The idea of allowing non-citizen to serve on advisory boards and commissions, however, has been bandied about Hayward City Hall for several years, Mayor Barbara Halliday added.

Despite the unanimous vote to place the issue on the November ballot, some concerns were raised.

Councilmember Aisha Wahab said the charter amendment proposal was created without transparency and community involvement and swiftly, despite a number of other quality of life issues remaining unaddressed by city staff.

Wahab asked city officials whether there had been any consideration for national security or city security issues if non-citizens are allowed to serve on board and commissions.

“I don’t see a particular issue with that. Board and commission members don’t typically have access to city databases or voter databases that might create some of the issue I think you’re talking about that been talked about in the national agenda,” McAdoo said.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. The issue of non-citizens is a lever to allow people leaving outside of the community to be on boards. This is to “pack” boards and commissions pure and simple.

    Raise the hotel tax?

    Hummm, not a great destination location. So raise the rate and watch the numbers drop.

    As the article states occupancy is down not because of taxation it is down because of the pandemic shut down.

  2. How much of this is going to the governor and his pet projects?

  3. William Hicks says

    How many of you have ever stayed at a hotel in Hayward? Somehow, I don’t think of Hayward as a place that has a lot of visitors for out of town.

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