Argument in Favor of Measure W
A YES vote on Measure W means:
• $1.3 million (est) annual revenue to relieve visitor impacts in West Marin.
• This tax would only be paid by lodging guests at hotels and short-term rentals as part of cost of lodging, not by permanent residents.
• New funding to take advantage of community housing opportunities in West Marin.
• New funding for local support of our overburdened first responders and volunteer fire departments.
• Local control of all budgets and expenditures.
Measure W imposes no new taxes on West Marin residents. The new Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenues will enhance the budgets of emergency responders, and fund opportunities to address the critical shortage of community housing, caused in part by the impact of visitors’ use of short term rentals.
West Marin’s increasing tourist and visitor congestion is severely straining the capabilities of West Marin emergency responders, especially our volunteer fire departments. Simultaneously, this influx of overnight visitors due to the increase in short term rentals has contributed to the shortage of community housing and reduced the availability of affordable housing.
A Yes vote addresses these twin crises by increasing the Transient Occupancy Tax, a hotel tax charged on visitors who stay less than 30 days. The TOT rate will be increased from 10% to 14% in West Marin. The additional 4% will generate $1,300,000 per year. Half of the new revenue will be used for the creation and support of community housing and half will be used for the expansion of our first responder capabilities, including recruiting, staffing and equipping our fire houses. None of this increase goes into the Marin County General Fund and can be only used for fire, ambulance, and emergency services and community housing in West Marin.
The distribution of these funds will be determined by two expenditure committees: a housing committee with representatives from all West Marin communities and a fire department committee with representatives from all West Marin fire departments. There will be an oversight committee to ensure that these funds are disbursed as mandated.
Please vote YES!
Ralph Camiccia Albert Engel Wendy Friefeld
Suzanne Sadowsky, Chair, San Geronimo Valley Affordable Housing Association Maureen Cornelia, President, Community Land Trust of West Marin