Residents, hotel operators weigh in on Measure T

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Photo/Anthony Victoria: The field at Colton Middle School.
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Gary Grossich believes there is no better time for Colton to take action on its youth sports fields.

“The time is now,” said Grossich, a Planning Commissioner with the city and small business owner.

In November, voters will decide whether or not to approve the measure, which intends to increase the current tax rate on hotel operators from 10 percent to 12.5 percent. The Council passed a resolution on August 2 to place the initiative on the ballot.

The Transient Occupancy (Hotel) Tax (TOT) is a charge imposed on the city’s hotel and motel guests. The purpose of the tax is to collect funding for street maintenance, police and fire services, library services, parks and recreation services, and other general costs. It does not incur any costs for residents or property owners.

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A key component to the ballot measure is the “Special Tax” designation the increase will be given. The rate increase will contribute to approximately $150,000 annually to constructing, maintenancing, and rehabilitating the city’s athletic and recreational areas, as written on Smith’s staff report from August.

Grossich, 62, has spent nearly a decade trying to convince members of the City Council and Colton Joint Unified School District officials to fix an existing soccer field at Colton Middle School and construct a soccer complex.

Currently his biggest concern is making sure voters in the city fully understand the specifics of the tax. He explained many residents remain unsettled because they fear it may incur costs for them.

“This isn’t costing them any money,” Grossich expressed. “It’s important we have heart to heart conversations with voters about this.”

Colton Youth Soccer officials, who utilize the deteriorating Colton Middle School field for games and practices, praised the Council’s efforts in bringing forth the ballot measure.  

“I applaud you for doing the best you can,” Colton Youth Soccer official Joe Perez told the Council on August 2. “We want better soccer fields.”

A Roadway Inn employee, who refused to provide their personal information, believes the Measure is a bad idea.

“Ninety five percent of the people are homeless,” they explained. “If people raise the taxes on room renters, it won’t be so good for them. They won’t have a place to stay. I understand it’s aiming to help youth, but there must be another way.”

An undisclosed hotel operator believes the tax will not have a huge impact on their businesses.

“Two and a half percent more is not a gigantic leap,” they said. “Customers spend more on starbucks for a latte, than they would to raise it to a few more dollars. I don’t think they would mind.”

 

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