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March 7, 2017 — Local Elections
Ballot and voting information for Los Angeles County.
This is an archive of a past election.

Levy 12% Hotel/Motel Tax for General City Purposes

Local
March 7, 2017Local Elections

City of Bell
Measure T - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passed

1,136 votes yes (66.86%)

563 votes no (33.14%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (4/4).

Shall the ordinance, to permit the Council to levy generally on visitors to the City a maximum 12% tax on hotel/motel charges, estimated to annually raise $285,000 for general City purposes, including for law enforcement and street repairs, and without a sunset clause, be adopted?

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Measure T permits the levying generally on visitors to the City of no more than a twelve percent (12%) tax on hotel/motel charges paid within the City of Bell. The actual tax rate will be established by ordinance of the majority of the members of the City Council but could not exceed the 12% cap. The tax is levied only on persons staying at a hotel or motel in the City for thirty days or less - the tax is not imposed on City of Bell property owners.

Measure T was placed on the ballot by the City Council. The City Council has heard a great deal from the community about their desire for better local services, especially public safety, streets and pothole repair, and community beautification. Measure T is estimated to annually generate (if the maximum tax rate of twelve percent (12%) is levied and with approximately 163 hotel/motel rooms in the city) approximately $285,000 per year to be deposited into the City's General Fund, to be used for general City purposes including law enforcement, street repairs and community development.

This type of tax is known as a transient occupancy tax, or “TOT,” and is common in many California cities. For example, the neighboring City of Commerce has a transient occupancy tax of twelve percent (12%), the neighboring City of Bell Gardens has a transient occupancy tax of eight percent (8%), and the transient occupancy tax paid in many California cities is twelve percent (12%) or higher.

The proposed TOT will provide the City of Bell with locally-controlled funding for City services that are protected by law from the State Legislature.

Measure T proposes amending existing Chapter 3.24 of Title 3 of the Bell Municipal Code, and repealing Ordinance 1022 which was passed in 1990 by the City Council to suspend collection of the then existing TOT which was 8%. Measure T reserves the right of the Council to make changes to the TOT not affecting the maximum rate approved by the voters.

This measure will take effect only if a majority of those voting on this ballot measure cast a “Yes” vote at the March 7, 2017 general municipal election.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure T. If you desire a copy of the ordinance or measure, please call the election official’s office at (323) 588-6211 and a copy will be mailed to you at no cost.

— City Attorney for City of Bell

Proposed legislation

 ORDINANCE NO. 1218

AN ORDINANCE ENACTED BY A VOTE OF THE ELECTORATE OF THE CITY OF BELL, CALIFORNIA, AMENDING CHAPTER 3.24 OF TITLE 3 OF THE BELL MUNICIPAL CODE, AND REPEALING ORDINANCE 1022, TO PERMIT IMPOSITION OF A TAX OF UP TO TWELVE PERCENT (12%) ON HOTELJMOTEL CHARGES WITHIN THE CITY OF BELL

THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF BELL DO ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Ordinance 1022 adopted by the City Council of the City of Bell in 1990 is hereby repealed in its entirety and is rendered null and void, and Section 3.24.160 of Chapter 3.24 of Title 3 of the Bell Municipal Code is hereby repealed in its entirety as follows (deleted text in strike-through):

"3.21.160 Suspension.

The provisions of this chapter, in their entirety, shall be suspended during such time as the provisions of Section 5.08.010(N) of this code, relating to business license taxes imposed on motels and hotels, are in full force and effect. If Section 5.08.010(N) is declared invalid by a final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, or is otherwise repealed or rescinded, the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed, for all purposes, to be in full force and effect, as of the effective date of a judgment of invalidity, or the act of repeal or rescission.”

SECTION 2.   Section 3.24.160 (Amendment) is hereby added to Chapter 3.24 of Title 3 of the Bell Municipal Code as follows:

"Section 3.24.160 Amendment

For purposes of carrying out the purposes of this chapter the city council retains the full right to revise, change or amend this chapter to the same extent as other city ordinances, provided that the city council may not increase in any manner the rate of taxation above the maximum rate permitted in Section 3.24.030 without approval by a vote of the People pursuant to Article XIII C of the California Constitution and Section 9217 of the Elections Code."

SECTION 3.   Section 3.24.030 (Rate) of Chapter 3.24 of Title 3 of the Bell Municipal Code is hereby amended to read in its entirety as follows (new text is identified in bold & italics, deleted text in strike through):

"Section 3.24.030 Rate

For the privilege of occupancy in any hotel, each transient is subject to and shall pay a tax in the amount established by ordinance of the majority of the members of the city council, provided the rate shall not exceed of eight twelve percent of the rent charged by the operator. Such tax constitutes a debt owed by the transient to the city which is extinguished only by payment to the operator or to the city. The transient shall pay the tax to the operator of the hotel at the time the rent is paid. If the rent is paid in installments, a proportionate share of the tax shall be paid with each installment. The unpaid tax shall be due upon the transient's ceasing to occupy space in the hotel."

SECTION 4.      SEVERABILITY. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision will not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance. The People hereby declare that the People would have passed this ordinance and each and every section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase not declared invalid or unconstitutional, without regard to whether any portion of the ordinance would be subsequently declared invalid or unconstitutional.

SECTION 5. EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDINANCE. If a majority of the voters of the City of Bell voting at the General Municipal Election of March 7, 2017 vote in favor of this ordinance, then this ordinance shall become a valid and binding ordinance of the City of Bell, and shall be considered as adopted upon the date that the vote is declared by the City Council of the City of Bell, and this Ordinance shall go into effect ten (10) days after that date, pursuant to Election Code section 9217

SECTION 6. CITY COUNCIL AUTHORITY TO AMEND AND/OR REPEAL. This is a City Council sponsored initiative ordinance which otherwise would only be subject to amendment by the voters of the City of Bell. However, pursuant to Section 9217 of the California Elections Code, the People reserve to the City Council the express right and authority to amend or repeal the ordinance in any manner that does not increase a tax rate, or otherwise constitute a tax increase, for which voter approval is required by Article XIII C of the California Constitution.

SECTION 7.      EXECUTION. The Mayor of the City of Bell is hereby authorized and ordered to attest to the adoption of the ordinance by the voters of the City of Bell by signing where indicated below.

I hereby certify that the foregoing Ordinance was PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED by the People of the City of Bell, California voting on the 7th day of March, 2017.

CITY OF BELL:

        ALICIA ROMERO
        Mayor

ATTEST:

        ANGELA BUSTAMANTE
        Interim City Clerk
City Clerk

APPROVED AS TO FORM:
        DAVID ALESHIRE
        City Attorney

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