Two city measures to raise transient occupancy taxes in San Mateo County have gained sizable approval from voters, according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s election.
As of early Wednesday morning, Belmont’s Measure K and Millbrae’s Measure N, which would each increase the existing tax by 2 percent, were both supported by more than 77 percent of voters. Both measures require a simple majority to pass.
The two measures apply to guests at hotels, motels and short-term rental properties and will raise the tax from 12 percent to 14 percent of the cost for the lodging. The collected revenue would go to general city services.
The Belmont City Council voted to place Measure K on the November ballot for voter consideration in a July meeting. Belmont city officials argued the increase would help the city recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and said it’s unlikely to depress tourism or business travel.
According to Belmont city officials, Measure K will provide some $600,000 each year to support road and pothole repairs, consistent emergency response times, senior services and upkeep of the city’s public spaces.
Measure N will fund a similar set of priorities in Millbrae, but will provide an estimated $1.5 million annually. In addition to road repairs and maintaining the city’s public spaces, Measure N will also fund local law enforcement patrols and efforts to attract new businesses to Millbrae.
Among cities in San Mateo County, Brisbane, Foster City, San Bruno and San Mateo all have a transient occupancy tax at 14 percent, with East Palo Alto’s rate set to increase to 14 percent on Jan. 1, 2023. Half Moon Bay has the highest rate in the county at 15 percent.
Millbrae city officials said increasing the transient occupancy tax by 2 percent would be consistent with the rates in the surrounding area and help the city continue to make the neighborhoods safe from crime and fire.