By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Visitors to Garden Grove’s growing skyline of hotels may soon be paying a bit more to stay and play. Measure Y, a 1.5 percent increase to the “bed tax” in Garden Grove, is on the ballot for Nov. 6.
A “bed tax” is a levy paid by those staying in hotels in a given city. Garden Grove has not raised its bed tax since 2002. The money is collected by the establishments and sent on to the city.
This proposed increase will raise the total bed tax to 14.5 percent. Anaheim’s is 15 percent.
The tax is not paid by city residents unless they were to stay in a hotel within the city.
The money raised from the bed tax is slated to go towards the city’s general fund to keep streets and city maintenance up.
“The thing is, most people don’t look at their bill when they check out from a hotel. They’re on vacation. This isn’t that much, in fact it’s less than Anaheim’s bed tax and it makes sure that visitors still contribute towards our city facilities. They are still using our streets, our public facilities,” said Bruce Broadwater, Garden Grove city council member.
The need for the increase comes from declining city revenues. Broadwater said that the state of California took $14 million from the city last year, leaving Garden Grove with a large hole to fill, approximately $4 million large each year from here on out.
The city has already cut back on staff, pay and services, implemented furlough days for city employees and stopped city projects in order to try and slow the deficit.
According to Broadwater, the bed tax increase will fill in about $1 million, maybe $1.5 million per year. It won’t solve the whole problem, but it will help make it smaller.
Broadwater said that he has a lot of confidence that Measure Y will pass as he has not heard any opposition to it.
“There is a certain amount of time when any initiative is proposed for people to come out and state against it. I haven’t heard anyone or seen anything,” said Broadwater.
Broadwater mentioned that other cities have increased utility taxes in order to fill in gaps that the state has left in their budget.
“Garden Grove one of two cities I think in the whole county that does not have a utility tax. We just don’t have it in Garden Grove and I hope we never have one,” said Broadwater.