Nov. 2, 2010
Today, San Francisco voters will decide whether or not to pass Proposition J, a bill that will increase the city’s hotel tax from 14% to 16%. In addition to Tourism Improvement District fees, the passage of Prop J would raise the hotel tax to as much as 17.5%, which is more than any other U.S. city, including New York. If the proposition passes, officials at the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau say that the tax could cost the city as much as $150 million in lost convention business, after receiving negative feedback from San Francisco’s largest convention costumers .
In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that at least three conventions have already told the bureau they would move their business to more affordable cities. He also stated that the city would lose approximately 2,000 mostly union jobs if Prop J is passed. In a recent blog post, D’Alessandro wrote that the proposition will have a negative economic effect on businesses throughout San Francisco: “City revenue will not increase if thousands of visitors, representing our largest conventions and meetings, go to more affordable cities.”