Preliminary election results show that Santa Cruz voters have approved increasing accommodation taxes on overnight hotel stays and short-term rentals within city limits.
Measure P, the city’s transient occupancy tax increase, collected 77.81% of the 8,420 votes counted as of Wednesday morning.
The measure raises the overnight lodging tax from 11% to 14% for short-term residential vacation rentals and 11% to 12% for hotels, motels and inns. It is estimated to bring in $1.38 million annually to the city’s general fund.
It’s a significant win for the city, especially after residents voted down a half-cent sales tax earlier this year. That measure failed by a mere 50 votes in July, denying the city revenue officials have said they desperately need to support homeless services and offset the city’s budget deficit.
“We are grateful that the community recognized the need for additional revenues to maintain essential city services,” City Manager Matt Huffaker said in a statement. “From wildfire prevention, investing in affordable housing and our infrastructure, and continuing our progress on homelessness response. This funding will be put to good use.”