Southern California Sales Tax Hikes Proposed
- Feb 22, 2016 | Gail Cole
This is the time of year when northerners flock to southern California like moths to a flame. Warm and dry, framed by the picturesque Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, and Indio are key destinations.
To solve projected fiscal woes, the La Quinta City Council Advisory Committee recommends a 1% sales tax rate increase. That would bring the total rate to 9%, the same as neighboring Palm Springs, Coachella, and Cathedral City. The committee also proposes raising the transient occupancy tax (TOT) to 12% and applying it to resort fees. Unless something is done, the city faces a $50 million deficit.
A 1% sales tax rate increase would add $6 million annually to the General Fund. Broadening and increasing the TOT would increase the General Fund by more than $1 million annually. Yet before it could take effect, a sales tax rate increase must be approved by 50% of voters, plus 1 additional vote, and a TOT rate increase needs approval by 2/3 of the voters.
The next step will be a suggested ordinance for the sales tax measure.
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