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East Palo Alto Measure V: Transient Occupancy Tax

by Peter Kaminski, used under CC BY 2.0
"Four Seasons Hotel" in East Palo Alto


This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

San Mateo Measure V would raise the hotel room tax in East Palo Alto. Every year, the proceeds would go toward improving affordable housing.

Let’s get some background. When you stay in a hotel or any short-term rental for a period of 30 days or less, part of what you pay is called a Transient Occupancy Tax. 

In San Francisco and Oakland, that tax is 14%. Right now, in East Palo Alto, it’s 12%. If Measure V passes, East Palo Alto’s tax would rise to 14% by 2023. The city estimates that this would raise nearly $400,000 a year.

Measure V supporters include the mayor and the entire city council of East Palo Alto.

Measure V opponents include the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association, which is concerned about the government overreaching and overspending. They say that out-of-town visitors to East Palo Alto shouldn’t be the ones paying for city services like affordable housing.

So here’s what it comes down to: if you’re an East Palo Alto voter and want to increase the transient occupancy tax to fund the city’s affordable housing projects, then vote yes on Measure V. If you want to keep the tax the same, then vote no.