Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
MapLight
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
We depend on your support.
Invest in unbiased information

Text VOTE to 52000 to donate $10.

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.

Local

City of Long Beach
Measure B - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passing

59,190 votes yes (59.21%)

40,775 votes no (40.79%)

To provide funding for student arts education programs, community arts, music, cultural programs and organizations, local museums and theaters, and the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, and maintain other general fund programs shall a measure be adopted increasing Long Beach's general transient occupancy (hotel bed) tax rate from 6% to 7%, paid for by hotel/motel guests, generating approximately $2.8 million dollars annually, until ended by voters, requiring audits and local control of funds?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Financial effect

Voter approval of this measure would amend the Long Beach Municipal Code to increase the City's general purpose transient occupancy tax ("TOT" or "hotel bed tax") by 1%, from 6% to 7%. The TOT is a tax charged to guests of hotels, motels, and similar short-term lodgings who stay for a period of 30 days or less. Hotel operators or their agents collect the tax when guests pay for their rooms and then pay it monthly to the City. The City has collected a TOT since 1962.

The measure, which was placed on the ballot by the Long Beach City Council, would amend Section 3.64.035 of the Long Beach Municipal Code. This Section currently imposes a general purpose TOT at the rate of 6% upon guests of hotels and other transient accommodations within the City, the revenues from which are deposited in the City's General Purpose Fund and may be used for general City services. The general purpose TOT was separately adopted and is in addition to the City's special purpose TOT (LBMC section 3.64.030), which is also currently imposed at the rate of 6%, for the City's "Special Advertising and Promotion (SAP) Fund," which is dedicated to support the advertising and promotion of the City. The proposed Measure would not affect the special purpose TOT in any way.

If this Measure is adopted, the combined total TOT paid by a hotel guest would increase from 12% to 13% of the hotel's room rate. A 1% increase in the general purpose TOT is estimated to generate $2.8 million in additional annual revenue. This is a general tax which can be spent to fund general City services.

The TOT cannot be increased further without voter approval.

A "yes" vote favors increasing the general purpose TOT to 7%.

A "no" vote opposes the increase and maintains the TOT at 6%.

A majority of "yes" votes is required for the measure to pass.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Let's Support Arts Education and Tourism in Long Beach - Vote Yes on B

As your last three mayors, head of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, we are committed to arts education in our schools and a vibrant tourism economy. Arts and culture make cities more livable and create good paying jobs. That's why we're voting Yes on Measure B.

Measure B is not a tax paid by Long Beach Residents, it's a 1% hotel bed tax paid by visitors who book a hotel room in Long Beach.

This small increase would average $1.80 to $2.00 per night on Long Beach hotel rooms. Our hotel rooms would still be less expensive than our nearest convention and visitor competitors, Anaheim and Los Angeles.

Measure B would also support much needed repairs and improvements at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. Convention business brings in millions of dollars to our Long Beach economy.

Voting Yes on Measure B will:

-  Provide support for arts education in Long Beach schools
-  Provide resources for Long Beach museums, theaters, live music and other cultural institutions
-  Pay for critical repairs and upgrades to the Convention Center

We are asking you join us in supporting Measure B to increase arts education in our schools and keep us a competitive place to attend conventions.

Please join our mayors, the head of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, and hundreds of community leaders and Vote Yes on Measure B.

ROBERT GARCIA
Mayor of Long Beach

BEVERLY O'NEILL
Former Mayor of Long Beach

STEVE GOODLING
President & CEO of the Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

GRISELDA SUAREZ
Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach

BOB FOSTER
Former Mayor of Long Beach

Arguments AGAINST

CITY OF LONG BEACH TRANSIENT OCCUPANCY (HOTEL BED TAX) MEASURE

Tourism is the goose that lays the golden egg. It is now Long Beach's second largest industry, giving us 20,000 jobs in 2018 and yielding lots of money for City Hall. Besides hotels and motels, since April 2019 Long Beach has been taxing Airbnb too. In just six months, home stays yielded about $1.3 million and estimates are that, once short-term rentals are regulated, annually Airbnb alone will provide the city $3 million extra revenue.

The proposed increase puts at risk all these jobs and revenues. At 12%, Long Beach's current bed tax already is high compared to other California coastal cities. Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and other Orange County tourist destinations have a 10% tax. A higher bed tax puts Long Beach at a competitive disadvantage just when we are striving to increase tourism.

Yet City Hall now wants 1% more - and with no clear and dedicated beneficiary.

The 12% bed tax revenue now gets split 6% to the General Fund and 6% to the Special Advertising and Promotion Fund -- mainly for the Convention & Visitors Bureau. The proposed extra 1% would go directly to the General Fund with no legal guarantee of how that new revenue would be spent.

Although local PR spin and ballot wording hint that the 1% increase will help the arts and the convention center, there is in fact no specific purpose or program which the extra money is legally guaranteed to benefit.

Just say no! A 1% bump in the hotel bed tax risks losing golden eggs and may even kill the goose. It is a City Hall cash grab that will hurt tourism, hotels and home hosts.

JOSEPH M. WEINSTEIN
Statistical Analyst

EUGENIE M. YOUNG
Leadership Team Member, Long Beach Airbnb Hosts

ALEXANDRE HATLESTAD-SHEY
Local Teacher

GLENNIS DOLCE 
Long Beach Resident and Concerned Citizen

Replies to Arguments FOR

Vote NO ON MEASURE B!

Will Measure B's extra tax adversely impact only NON-residents?
NO!

- It will make Long Beach lodgings less competitive for all kinds of tourism.

- The tax will adversely impact all tourism workers and home hosts.

Will Measure B, as politicians promise, help Long Beach arts, museums, conventions, or other tourism?
NO GUARANTEE WHATSOEVER!

- Despite all the promises and claims, the tax is a blank check to the General Fund.

- NO specific program or purpose gets any legal guarantee of increased funding.

Can we simply trust the promises, never mind legal guarantees?
NO!
The well-financed campaign (2016) for the existing sales tax promised massive new spending on infrastructure and public safety. However:

- Infrastructure spending - for repair to streets, alleys and sidewalks - has barely increased.  .

- Funds for promised restoration of 200 police officers instead went to overtime for existing officers. Result: a costly but thin and overworked force.

- Fire stations and engines were underfunded. Station 9 was closed.

- Much of the extra tax revenue has gone to huge salary and pension increases, extravagances like a billion-dollar city hall, and giveaways to favored developers and special interests.

Concerned Long Beach citizens urge your vote for fiscal responsibility:
NO on Measure B.

JOSEPH WEINSTEIN
Statistical Analyst

CARLOS OVALLE
Architect, Community Activist

CORLISS LEE
President Eastside Voice

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Support Arts Education and Tourism in Long Beach - Vote Yes on B

Your last three mayors, head of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, are committed to arts education in our schools and a vibrant tourism economy. Arts and culture make cities more livable and create good paying jobs. That's why we're supporting Measure B.

Measure B isn't a tax paid by Long Beach Residents, it's a 1% hotel tax paid by visitors.

This small increase would average $1.80 to $2.00 per night on Long Beach rooms. Our rooms would still be less expensive than our nearest competitors, Anaheim and Los Angeles. That's why the head of the Convention & Visitors Bureau and many hotel managers urge you to vote Yes on B.

Measure B would support needed repairs and improvements at the Long Beach Convention Center. Convention business contributes millions of dollars to our economy.

Voting Yes on Measure B will:

-  Provide support for arts education in Long Beach schools
-  Provide resources for Long Beach museums, theaters, live music and other cultural institutions
-  Pay for critical repairs and upgrades to the Convention Center

Support Measure B to increase arts education in our schools and keep us a competitive place to attend conventions.

Please join our mayors, the head of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, and hundreds of community leaders and Vote Yes on Measure B.

ROBERT GARCIA
Mayor of Long Beach

BEVERLY O'NEILL
Former Mayor of Long Beach

STEVE GOODLING
President & CEO of the Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

GRISELDA SUAREZ
Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach

BOB FOSTER
Former Mayor of Long Beach

Use tabs to select your choice. Use return to create a choice. You can access your choices by navigating to 'My Choices'.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

PUBLISHING:PRODUCTION SERVER:PRODUCTION