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Council to Consider Raising Hotel Tax and Reducing House Sizes

With little fanfare or notice, the City Council will discuss placing two measures on the November ballot.

The City Council will hold a special meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday to consider placing two measures on the Nov. 6 ballot. 

One would increase the transient occupancy tax (TOT), paid by hotels and passed onto tourists booking rooms. It would rise from 8 to 10 percent.

The other would reduce the floor area ratio (FAR) by 5 percent, an issue that often crops up among civic leaders and residents trying to strike a balance between property owners' rights and preservation of the community's character.

This is an advisory measure and would require further action by the council.

Both measures were proposed by Mayor Casey Tanaka and unanimously approved for discussion by the remainder of the council.

In his letter requesting an increase in the hotel tax, Tanaka for the need for added revenues.

“With the (Community Development Agency) being dissolved by the state,” Tanaka wrote, “there will no longer be a unique funding source for the construction of important public facilities like a senior center or for the maintenance of public structures that we already have in existence.”

This year the city expects to net $8.8 million from the tax. The 2 percent increase, if approved, is expected to add $2.2 million, according to a city estimate.  

Coronado last raised the TOT in 1995, from 7 to 8 percent. 

The FAR measure would examine public sentiment about residential development. FAR is the relationship between a house’s floor area and the size of the lot the structure sits on.

“There is still a lingering dissatisfaction amongst many within our community about overbuilding in Coronado,” Tanaka wrote in a letter arguing why residents should be allowed to weigh in via the advisory measure.

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