I read with interest that the Santa Monica City Council has decided to raise the bed tax to 12%, the level currently charged by Los Angeles.
Increasing the city bed tax at will to fill the coffers of the General Fund is, in my opinion, irresponsible. Any bed tax collected should be used to promote tourism and not pet projects of the council members.
According to Mayor (Dennis) Zane, approving hotel construction is not to lure tourists and businessmen to stay in Santa Monica but to create new sources of income for the General Fund. This means that those funds are being used for other purposes not at all related to tourist promotion. The bed tax is a tax every city official dreams about. After all, they may feel that those who pay for it don't live here and, therefore, can't vote in their elections.
One only needs to look next door to the city of Los Angeles, where that council, with Mayor Bradley's endorsement, continues to collect 4% of the bed tax for the 1984 Olympic Games. This tax had a "sunset clause" and was to expire after the Games. This is taxation without representation.