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San Mateo County Hotel Tax Increase, Measure U (June 2012)

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A San Mateo County Hotel Tax Increase, Measure U ballot question was on the June 5, 2012 ballot for voters in San Mateo County, where it was defeated.[1]

If Measure U had been approved, people who stay at hotels and other overnight lodging in the county would have had to pay a 12% hotel tax as opposed to the 10% tax on hotel stays that was in effect at the time of the vote on Measure U.[2]

The hotel tax increase was on the ballot with two other tax increase proposals, Measure X, a gross receipts tax on commercial parking lots (which was defeated) and Measure T, a car rental tax increase (which was approved). If all three tax increases had been approved by voters, they would have resulted in $13 million a year in additional revenue to the county.[1] Measure T, the only one to be approved, will result in about $8 million a year to the county.[3]

Election results

Measure U
Defeatedd No60,71153.2%
Yes 53,431 46.8%
These final election results are from the San Mateo County elections office (timed out).


Measure U was supported by:

  • Adrienne Tissier, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
  • Carole Groom, member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
  • Ann Campbell, Superintendent of the San Mateo County School District[4]

A group called "San Mateo County Forward" also supported Measure U, and the other two tax hike measures on the June 5, 2012 ballot. David Pine, a representative of the group, said, "These revenues are critical to avoiding future cuts that will harm people in our community."[5]


John Ballesteros, the vice president of public policy for the San Francisco Travel Association, argued against the tax, and two other tax increase measures on the June 5, 2012 ballot, saying, "These measures before you will undoubtedly have a negative impact to attracting visitors, creating an opportunity cost in terms of lost jobs to the region."[1]

The U.S. Travel Association conducted a nationwide survey of 366 convention, trade show and meeting industry professionals. They were asked whether Measure U and two other taxes on the June 5, 2012 ballot would have an impact on whether they would plan to have a meeting in San Mateo County. According to this research, 40% of those surveyed would either "definitely" search for a new meeting destination or would "reconsider" holding a meeting or event in the county. 58% of those surveyed also said that it is their belief that the Bay Area's taxes on visitors are among the highest in the nation and are second only to New York City's.[6]

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE U: "Shall Chapter 5.136 of the San Mateo County Ordinance Code be amended to increase the rate of tax imposed on occupants of lodging within the unincorporated County who reside in such lodging for thirty consecutive calendar days or less, from ten to twelve percent of the rent charged by operators of such lodging?"[7]

Cost of election

See also: Costs of administering local elections

The cost to San Mateo County of holding the election on the hotel tax increase, and two other tax increase measures, was about $280,000.[2]

External links

Suggest a link


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