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Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA March 8, 2005 Election
Measure RedondoBeach---G
Transient Occupancy Tax
City of Redondo Beach

1,787 / 56.2% Yes votes ...... 1394 / 43.8% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall an Ordinance amending Section 8-2.03 of the Redondo Beach Municipal Code to authorize increasing the transient occupancy tax charged to guests by hotel operators from the current ten percent (10%) to an amount not to exceed twelve percent (12%) of the rent charged by the operators effective July 1, 2005, be adopted

Impartial Analysis from Jerry Goddard, City Attorney
The City of Redondo Beach's ordinance currently authorizes the City to impose a transient occupancy tax on hotel guests, which is collected and remitted to the City by hotel operators, in the amount of ten percent (10%) of the rent charged by the hotel operator to the hotel guest.

Proposition G, if adopted, would amend the City's ordinance to authorize the City to increase the transient occupancy tax to not more than twelve percent (12%) of the rent charged by hotel operators to hotel guests.

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Arguments For Measure RedondoBeach---G Arguments Against Measure RedondoBeach---G
Redondo Beach enjoys a reputation of maintaining quality infrastructure and services.

Doing so is challenging during times of reduced revenues. Like all cities in California, Redondo Beach’s budget has suffered as the State has taken our revenues to balance the State budget. These State take-aways have caused the City to reduce staffing levels and cut other costs. In an effort to not reduce services to the citizens of Redondo Beach our fee and tax structure has been revie wed to make sure it covers the cost of the service provided and is competitive with our neighboring cities.

One tax reviewed is the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) collected by hotels from hotel guests. The current maximum TOT is 10%, which is well below average for our region. It has been over a decade since the TOT has been changed.

The proposed maximum of 12% TOT has been discussed with the City’s hotel industry and with the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. They support an increase up to 12%, which is still at the low end for the region. The chairs of these organizations have signed below.

The travel industry recognizes that the high level of services provided to our citizens and visitors makes Redondo Beach an attractive destination for tourists. The local tourism industry is important to the Redondo Beach economy and to the City’s General Fund. The increased revenues from the TOT, paid by hotel guests, will go into the General Fund to pay for City services such as streets, parks and public safety.

Since the TOT is paid by visitors, we can make these improvements without cost to our citizens.

Help keep Redondo Beach a beautiful and safe place to live, work and visit.

Vote Yes on Measure G.

John Parsons
Redondo Beach City Councilman, District 5

John Parsons

Don Szerlip

Ann M. Garten

Huberth Escobar

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Supporters of higher taxes claim that revenue is needed because of state take-aways. However, this argument is not true. In the November general election, voters approved Proposition 1A for the protection of local government revenues.

Advocates of higher taxes also claim that revenue is needed to maintain services and infrastructure. This argument is misleading. Redondo Beach has revenue.

For FY03-04, the Financial Services staff projects a General Fund increase of 2 million or 4.3%. The Annual Report states that "assets of the city exceeded its liabilities by $146.5 million, and assets for business type activities exceeded liabilities by $56 million."

The proponents of raising taxes also argue that the city should increase taxes because other cities have higher taxes. However, the city's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report released in December 2004 states that "Redondo Beach is better off than most cities, experiencing growth in major revenue categories." Despite our increasing revenues and abundant assets, Redondo Beach has cut school programs and reduced staffing levels. At the same time, the city has increased subsidies to business organizations such as the Redondo Beach Chamber by 3.7%.

The Visitors Bureau receives an additional $227,900 or 1% of the TOT.

It's not surprising that the Chamber and Visitors Bureau support higher taxes as their programs take an ever increasing share of our limited resources.

These special interest groups subsidized by our city should keep out of local politics.

The case for higher taxes has not been made. Demand accountability and better management.

Vote No on Measure G.

/s/Tory Erickson

Vote no on Measure G, because this tax increase will not help Redondo Beach, and it could hurt.

In a highly competitive market, even a slightly tax can make the difference between winning customers and losing business. If we increase taxes on visitors, and lose the competition for those guests, we will also lose other revenue. Restaurants, dry cleaners, and retailers will lose business.

Measure G is also part of a wider demand for higher taxes by local government. Redondo Beach recently imposed a sewage tax without the voters’ approval and a business tax increase is being pushed on this ballot.

These tax increases make Redondo Beach more expensive and they are not needed.

Tax revenues have reached record levels. Property taxes, parking tickets, and user fees have all significantly increased while spending has spiraled out of control. From 2001-2004, Redondo Beach budget revenues increased by more than 36 million dollars, from over 71 million to over 107 million dollars. (See

It is disgraceful that we have not fully funded our after school programs and have cut school crossing guards at a time when Redondo Beach is taking in record levels of tax revenue.

Even more shocking was the recent disclosure that Redondo Beach forgot to collect 23 million dollars in taxes from the AES power plant. This oversight, due to lack of communication and confusing past agreements, will most likely lead to costly litigation. (See “Redondo Beach to bill power plant.” Daily Breeze 12/16/04) Redondo Beach has repeatedly, engaged in, or needlessly invited costly litigation. The exact costs of these actions are not disclosed; but they are reflected in more than 4 million dollars of general liability expenses. We need to re- focus our priorities.

Send a message to City Hall asking for more open government and better management.

Vote No on Measure G.

/s/ Tory Erickson

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Vote in Favor of Measure G.

Little if any of the "information" in the Argument Against Measure G is true or even related to the actual measure.

A complete competitive analysis of the hotel business in Redondo Beach has been performed by the City in conjunction with General Managers of many of our largest hotels. The current authorized Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) is well below the average for the local cities where our hotels compete. The authorized increase contained in Measure G would still have the TOT at the low end for our region. The Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau has signed the Argument in Favor of Measure G indicating the support of the local tourism industry and business community.

The TOT is paid by hotel guests and collected by our local hotels. The travel and tourism industry recognize that the high level of services provided to our citizens and visitors makes Redondo Beach an attractive destination for tourists. During the last 2 budget cycles the State has taken away City revenues to balance the State budget. Nearly 60% of our Annual General Fund Budget is spent on Public Safety.

Our City budget has prioritized Public Safety and other critical City services.

The increased revenues from the TOT, paid by hotel guest, will go into the General Fund to pay for critical City services such as public safety, parks, streets and storm drains.

Vote Yes on Measure G.

John Parsons
Redondo Beach City Councilman, District 5

John Parsons

Don Szerlip

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Created: March 29, 2005 12:43 PST
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