First City-Sponsored Initiative on Ballot

The Goleta City Council voted earlier this year to ask voters to decide if they want to raise the city’s transient occupancy tax (TOT) or bed tax.

A bed tax is something visitors pay when they stay at one of the City’s many hotels and motels. This tax is intended to help the City pay the visitors’ share of using the City’s services and infrastructure while staying in Goleta. Whether it is an overnight stay or longer, visitors use our roads, sewer and water systems. They sometimes require assistance from our public safety officials just as other residents.

The cost to visitors is a percentage of the cost of their room. Currently the city’s TOT is 10%. The ballot measure asks city voters to raise it 2%.

Increasing the City of Goleta’s TOT will bring it into alignment with neighboring Santa Barbara and 65 other cities throughout California who have this rate or higher.

Called Measure H, this tax is expected to bring in at least $900,000 per year in additional revenues the City may spend on a variety of services and programs. The City is not limited in how it uses the revenue to support any general purpose activity or service.

All revenues generated by the Goleta TOT will stay under the control of the City of Goleta. Neither the County of Santa Barbara nor the State will share in any of this revenue.

TOT is local revenue the City currently uses to fund a variety of pro-grams and projects, such as public safety, road and park maintenance. Should Measure H pass, the additional revenue could be used to fund other identified priorities such as:
• Enhancing public safety services in the area of gang enforcement,parking enforcement, and greater
public open spaces
• Investing in upkeep of the City’s growing list of public facilities,
including the soon-to-be-acquired Community Center
• Reinvesting in local visitor-serving services for promoting Goleta to visitors
• Providing for the maintenance and upkeep of a new park in Old Town
• Sustaining and enhancing the City’s reinvestment in our public street infrastructure