Measure W: Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax Increase

Photo of City employees working

The City Council on July 20, 2020 unanimously agreed to place on the November ballot a proposed measure to increase the City's Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax from 12% to 14%.

Keeping San Mateo Fiscally Stable

The City’s revenues are not keeping pace with the growing costs of providing quality services to local residents, and the recent COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated these economic challenges. The City is facing ongoing and long-term budget deficits, including a $7.8 million structural shortfall this year alone. City leaders are taking active measures to be fiscally conservative and proactively cutting approximately $4 million from the city budget, including cuts to each department’s budget and eliminating staff positions. 

An additional source of local funding is needed to help maintain quick 9-1-1 emergency response times, as well as keep up with basic maintenance to streets, infrastructure, and public facilities before these repairs become more expensive to fix in the future.

Maintaining City Services Through a Tax on Hotel Stays 

In response to the impending budget deficit, the City has put a fiscal sustainability plan in place. As part of that plan, the San Mateo City Council unanimously voted to place Measure W on the November 2020 ballot to increase the City’s existing transient occupancy tax, also known as a hotel tax, from 12% to 14%. This measure would provide an additional estimated $1.0 million annually in locally-controlled funding that would only be paid by overnight hotel and short-term rental guests — not San Mateo residents.

If approved by a majority of local voters, Measure W would support city services, such as:

  • Maintaining streets and repairing potholes
  • Providing fire protection and emergency medical services 
  • Maintaining responses to 9-1-1 emergencies 
  • Managing traffic congestion and enhancing pedestrian safety
  • Maintaining parks and recreation facilities including courts, fields and playgrounds  

All Funds Stay Local

All money raised by Measure W would be used locally to fund services in the City of San Mateo and no funds could be taken by the State. Expenditures would be reviewed during annual independent audits.

More Information

For more details about Measure W, please view our:

Share Your Input

Take a quick survey on Speak Up San Mateo to share your input on Measure W and what you'd like to see the City address if it's approved.

These statements shall not be construed in support of or against the transient occupancy tax ballot measure.