• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

The City of San Diego lost an appeal in the state second appellate district March 5. San Diego and other cities like Anaheim and Santa Monica wanted to slap a transient occupancy tax (hotel tax) on online travel companies like Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia, and Travelocity. The trial court ruled against the cities. The appellate court affirmed an earlier court decision, saying in the case of San Diego, the local ordinance makes it clear that the tax obligations are only imposed on transients and hotel operators. The online companies publish comparative information about airlines, hotels, and rental car companies on their websites.

But there is better news for hoteliers. At a mid-March meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn, Robert Rauch, a local hotel expert, said travel by Chinese citizens will increase 14 percent this year, and 10 percent of those will come to the United States. He cited a figure of 700,000 San Diego hotel rooms yearly, twelve times the rooms used by Qualcomm, currently the largest driver of accommodations in San Diego.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader

Comments

Burwell March 25, 2014 @ 11:38 p.m.

If travelers dodge the TOT by buying rooms over the internet, TOT revenue will plummet. There won't be enough TOT revenue to fund the convention center expansion and CONVIS. The bonds will have to be paid out of the general fund, strapping the City's finances.

0

Don Bauder March 26, 2014 @ 8:34 a.m.

Burwell: That is the risk. That is the gravamen of the cases: the online outfits don't collect TOT. It's analogous to the battle over sales taxes that online retailers dodge.

The convention center bonds may have another problem. Bond financiers may raise the point that convention centers are vastly overbuilt in the nation, and the San Diego center, along with the others in the country, is cutting prices by 50 because of the glut. So why does it want to shell out half a billion bucks for an expansion? Wall Street could ask that question. Best, Don Bauder

0

laplayaheritage March 26, 2014 @ 9:07 p.m.

All the City of San Diego has to do is put a 5% TOT increase from the existing 10.5% rate, to a maximum of 15.5% for Public Infrastructure and Marketing on the November 2014 ballot. With language included that TOT is required to be collected by Online Travel Agencies too.

Instead the lame City Council does not see easy solutions, and leaves money on the table just to not rock the boat or annoy the Tourism Authority and private luxury Hotel owners.

0

Don Bauder March 27, 2014 @ 8:25 a.m.

laplayaheritage: The court was sticking to the law. The law should be changed. You are right. Best, Don Bauder

0

Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close