San Francisco Hotel Tax Clarifications and Definitions, Measure K (November 2010)
Measure J, on the same ballot, is a competing measure.
Competing propositions J and K both alter the way that hotel customers who book their hotel rooms online are charged a hotel tax. Currently, hotel taxes are assessed so that when a customer books a hotel room through an online booking service such as Expedia or Orbitz, the hotel tax is only assessed on the amount that a hotel receives, not on the amount that the website charges the customer. If a website sells a room to an online customer for $150 a night, but only $120 of that goes to the hotel, the customer under current law is only charged a hotel tax on the lower amount. If Measure J passes, the customer will have to pay a hotel tax on the full amount paid to the online booking service, not the lower amount that the hotel actually receives for its room. This change is expected to generate $6 million a year.
However, Measure K only makes that change, and in a slightly different way than Measure J makes it, while Measure J also increases the overall hotel tax rate from 14% to 16%, while Measure K doesn't increase the hotel tax rate.