OVN EDITORIAL on Feb. 28, 2020, on OPINION PAGE: Vote Yes on Measure C for 'hotel tax' 5% increase to help improve city

The city of Ojai has more than $20 million in street repairs and other deferred maintenance costs, plus an urgent need for fire mitigation, parks and recreation site upgrades, and more. The need for funding is abundantly clear and the least-regressive tax option we see is an increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax (hotel bed tax).
The “hotel” tax is not paid by Ojai residents, and has not increased since 1970. It is endorsed by every Ojai City Council member and many residents and local business owners as the best way to keep our city from falling further into disrepair.
The Transient Occupancy Tax, now at 10%, would go up to 15%, with the 5% increase earmarked for meeting some of the city’s most urgent needs. This means the city can only spend the money on specified items. Measure C requires a two-thirds vote to pass. The $17 extra spent on a $350 hotel room will go a long way toward helping Ojai continue to be a place locals and tourists can both enjoy.
The Ojai Valley News recommends a YES vote on the city of Ojai’s Measure C.