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Gayle's Owner Fears Hotel Tax Increase Will Cut Tourist Dollars

Gayle Ortiz wrote a letter to the Capitola City Council asking that they not put a tax increase on the November ballot.

While the Capitola City Council is , the Capitola business community is unsettled at the idea that an increased tax could repel tourists.

Gayle Ortiz, owner of , submitted the following letter to the council asking them not to put the increase on the ballot.

Dear Councilmembers-

As a business person I'm always looking to the council for signs that they support our business community here in Capitola. I think you all do a great job of showing your support in this area. 

It is for this reason I'm asking that you reconsider your vote to support putting a 2% TOT increase on the November ballot. I believe it is not in the best interest of our lodging industry to charge more than any other community in our area. I am sure that visitors weigh those differences when choosing a place to stay. 

And that doesn't just mean dollars lost to the hotel, motel or rental but to all of the other businesses that benefit from visitors staying in Capitola. It is especially hard on those with longer stays, say 4 or 5 days. And those are the ones we want. 

So, please reconsider and decide to align Capitola with the other communities who are advocating the 1% increase. Continue sending the message to our business community that you understand their needs and support them at every opportunity possible. 

Many thanks, 

Gayle Ortiz 
Gayle's Bakery and Rosticceria 

What do you think? Do you check hotel tax rates before booking a room? Are you afraid that a higher hotel tax will drive away tourist dollars? Tell us in the comments!

Jim Cavanagh August 10, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I would guess that less that 2% of travelers make booking decisions based on the hotel tax - unless it is something outrageous like 25%. 2% of a $250 room is only $5. Give me a break.
Peking August 10, 2012 at 03:22 PM
There are those travelers who take into consideration how much they have to pay in extra taxes when booking a stay in a hotel or motel. At the end of a seven-day stay, there's a big difference between an extra 10% or an extra 12%. During last night's meeting, both Mike Termini and Kirby Nicol were both cavalier about the fact that they never pay attention to such extra taxes on their bills. Well, Gentlemen, when families on limited budgets travel, they do notice such extras.
Dave N August 10, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I am in complete agreement with Gayle Ortiz. Being in the Hotel business I can guarantee you that the amount of tax matters to a VERY large number of our guests. In Australia in particular this became such a big issue that their law requires that instead of simply quoting the room rate they have to quote the TOTAL cost inclusive of all taxes and fees. With more and more communities raising taxes and adding on extra fees there are stirrings that we follow suit. Is the general public aware that in the city of Capitola motels and hotels are required to add an additional $1.00 per night for a “Tourist Tax” and in the unincorporated areas of the county there is a $1.50 charge per night for a “Tourist Assessment” – in addition to the occupancy taxes? There is an old saying – “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”. It is not fair to keep expecting tourist to pay for our services which they use very little of. Since they have no way to have any input in this they become easy targets. How about if our elected officials spend there time finding and eliminating wasteful and inefficient spending to control costs rather than continually finding new ways to gouge the public for a change?
Jacob Bourne August 10, 2012 at 05:44 PM
The hotel tax was shot down at the council meeting last night. But I have to wonder: do you think it would have passed if it were on the November ballot? After all, this is one tax that the locals wouldn't have to pay but still get the benefits from.
Jane August 10, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Because Gayle's doesn't make enough money in a day!?! When you charge $10 for a bowl of macaroni and cheese I don't think you should worry about a 1% tourist tax. Just sayin'.

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