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Advocacy

Our current actions

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Vote NO on Measure E

Palo Alto Hotel Council invites you to learn more about why you should vote No on Measure E. The November ballot measure authorizes the HIGHEST transient occupancy tax rate in the State of California, highlights the lack of fiscal accountability by Palo Alto city leaders and pushes much-needed tourism business out of Palo Alto.

Palo Alto city leaders are failing to manage taxpayer-generated funds transparently and we must hold the accountable!

Upcoming Events

Join us to help fight the City of Palo Alto’s fiscal irresponsibility.

Thursday, Oct. 18

From 5pm to 7pm

Where
The Cardinal Hotel
235 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Tuesday, Oct. 23

From 5pm to 7pm

Where
Dinah’s Garden Hotel
4261 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Measure E?

Measure E will authorize the HIGHEST tax rate in the State of California, boosting Palo Alto’s Transient Occupancy Tax to 15.5 percent, well ahead of San Francisco and Los Angeles. The measure highlights the lack of fiscal accountability by Palo Alto city leaders and pushes much-needed tourism business out of Palo Alto.

How will Measure E affect Palo Alto hotels?

Measure E greatly impacts Palo Alto hotels. Business travelers, Stanford visitors & tourists will choose to stay in nearby cities where hotel taxes will be up to 55 percent less. When visitors and groups take their business elsewhere, Palo Alto hotels, restaurants and retail outlets may be forced to move or close, impacting thousands of local jobs. As a result, hotel tax revenues will be far less than the city promises.

How will Measure E affect Palo Alto residents?

Nobody knows how the funds generated by Measure E will be spent. Proponents of Measure E’s suggest that this tax revenue will be earmarked for specific projects is simply not true. Funds will go directly to the City’s General Fund, which leaders can spend however they want, including on salary increases and exponentially escalating pension costs. That means the projects promised by Measure E are likely not to be fully funded, leaving city leaders little choice but to raise taxes residents.

Haven’t we seen similar tax increases to cover these same infrastructure projects in the past?

Yes. In 2008 and 2014, the city increased taxes to fulfill a much-needed list of similar infrastructure projects. Most of those projects have not been built or completed because Palo Alto city leaders are failing to manage taxpayer-generated funds transparently and with accountability.

Will the funds generated from Measure E cover the proposed infrastructure costs?

No. Palo Alto city leaders will need money far beyond Measure E to fulfill their budget obligations and infrastructure promises. They will either cut services or increase taxes, which will impact all Palo Alto residents. Measure E promises many things, but it will generate less than $2.5 million as hotel business goes to neighboring cities with 25 percent less taxes. $2.5 million is a drop in the bucket to the tens of millions of dollars needed to fund all the projects proponents have proposed

What plans does the City Council have to close the financial gaps on these project?

We don’t know. We do know the revenue generated by Measure E will be a drop in the bucket to the millions needed to fund all those projects. We also know City leaders are facing increased budget obligations with pensions and already have polled about increasing sales, transfer and parcel taxes that would hit residents.

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