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Over the last six years, our City has been responsible stewards of limited resources, proactively reducing staff, and streamlining City services to maintain the level of service our community has come to expect.
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No. The transient occupancy tax (TOT) is not related to individuals experiencing homeless or homeless-related services. TOT, also known as a "bed tax" or "hotel tax", is paid by visitors staying at hotels and other short-term lodging establishments located within La Palma and helps fund local services visitors use when staying in the City, such as police services, streets, sidewalks, and parks.
NO! The measure is an increase to La Palma’s existing transient occupancy tax, which is only paid by overnight hotel and short-term rental guests. Increasing the rate of this measure would not increase taxes on La Palma residents and the tax would still only be paid by overnight visitors.
This measure is estimated to provide $200,000 annually in locally controlled funding to support City services, such as:
The City of La Palma has one of the lowest hotel taxes in the region at 8%. By raising the tax to 12%, La Palma will still have a more moderately priced transient occupancy tax, and ensure visitors to our area help pay for the city services they currently use.
Hotel Tax Rate
15% + 2% resort district fee
The City of La Palma provides an excellent quality of life for our residents. We take pride in being a vibrant City with safe neighborhoods, good schools, and a strong sense of community. With one of the lowest crime rates in Orange County, La Palma is a place where residents can rest easy and enjoy hometown living.
Due to our high quality of life, La Palma has been named one of the best places to live in America. La Palma also boasts being one of a few small California cities with its own Police Department under City control.
Keeping our City clean, safe, and well-maintained is our top priority. While the City has been able to remain fiscally stable during the COVID-19 pandemic, costs for community services continue to increase while City revenue resources have remained flat.
Currently, tourists arrive each day in La Palma to access the attractions Southern California has to offer, including theme parks, beaches, and parks. These tourists increase traffic and demand for City services and resources, including parks, community facilities, sidewalks, and our local police.
Additionally, local streets, sidewalks, and community facilities require ongoing maintenance that is beyond current available resources. If we do not address these issues now, it will be more expensive to repair and maintain them in the future.
During this time, our City has been responsible stewards of limited funds to maintain the services our community has come to expect.
The City of La Palma has been working in close partnership with local community members to proactively examine the budget and develop a plan to provide financial stability without impacting City services. That is why the City placed a local funding measure on the November 2022 ballot.
This measure would increase the existing transient occupancy tax (TOT), also known as a hotel tax, by 4%. This increase would be comparable with neighboring communities, and would not raise taxes for La Palma residents — it applies only to overnight hotel and short-term rental guests. The measure would generate an estimated $200,000 in annual funding to maintain a variety of general city services for our residents.
Yes, the City is committed to transparency and responsible fiscal stewardship. All money raised by the measure would stay local to fund services, programs, and projects here in La Palma. By law, no funds could be taken by the State. Annual independent audits of expenditures would also be required. These fiscal safeguards would help ensure transparency and that all funds are locally controlled.
Much of the revenue from local property tax goes to the State or other public agencies like local schools; less than 12 cents from every dollar comes back to our city. This amount alone is not enough to provide the community services desired by local residents.
No. By law, every penny must stay in La Palma to support City services and programs. None of these funds can be taken or redirected by the state or federal governments.
Acknowledging the current economic challenges, the City of La Palma has been working with our community to explore all options to maintain City services and protect our quality of life. Tourism is now bustling again, and we can expect more visitors to our area, using our services and impacting our community. A potential increase in the transient occupancy tax ensures residents’ taxes remain the same, and only those who stay in hotels or short-term lodging would be assessed this tax.
This measure must be supported by a majority of those who vote on it in order to pass.