With little visible opposition, the City Council this week gave initial approval to a half-percentage-point hike in the hotel tax.
The higher tax on guests' bills--50 cents on a $100 tab--is expected to generate $200,000 more for the city. The new 12.5% tax includes a levy that helps fund the West Hollywood Marketing Corp., the city's tourist bureau.
The vote was 4 to 1. Mayor Sal Guarriello voted no, saying he had gotten calls from hotel operators opposed to the increase.
In June, the council ditched a proposed utility tax intended to cover a feared local shortfall resulting from state budget cuts. The state cuts were less severe than expected and the utility tax was not needed, but the hotel tax stayed.
Local business groups said raising the tax will further hurt the reeling hotel industry, but no hotel representatives opposed the tax increase at a brief hearing Monday.