Virtually overlooked in the citywide election next week is Measure X, which would raise the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), also known as the “Bed Tax” from 12% to 14% on visitors staying in Culver City hotels and motels.
The tax, if passed, would raise an estimated $550,000 of additional revenue for city coffers. Billed as a way to preserve city essential services such as police, fire, paramedics, etc. the tax currently generates just over $3 million or a mere 3.8% of the overall city budget.
Culver City has wrestled with budget deficits over the past several years and has needed to dip into reserve funds to balance the general fund. One report from the city finance department shows the reserves totally depleted in five years.
The rate would equal the highest rates in the area. Should the tax be approved by a majority of voters Tuesday Culver City would join Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the City of Los Angeles with a 14% TOT tax rate. Long Beach, Redondo Beach and Los Angeles County currently charge 12% while Burbank and the Beach communities of Manhattan and Hermosa levy a 10% fee. El Segundo, which boasts the lowest fees in the area, charges 8%.