Editor, Ceres Courier,
On behalf of the Ceres Chamber of Commerce, I would like to encourage residents to vote YES on Measure E - the only tax Ceres residents don't pay - unless they stay at one of Ceres' two hotels.
Measure E is the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), otherwise known at the hotel tax. If you've ever traveled and stayed in a hotel or motel, chances are you've paid the tax yourself. If you've ever traveled to cities like Anaheim or San Francisco, chances are you've paid as high as 14 or 15 percent towards those cities' TOT.
If Ceres voters were to approve the proposed TOT on this year's election ballot, it is estimated to generate approximately $70,000 more per year towards the city's coffers. Since it was placed on the ballot to go into the city's general fund, that extra revenue could help to pay for essential services such as police and fire protection, sewer, infrastructure and drinking water for our residents. It could also be used for economic development efforts like business attraction and promotion of existing local business.
This funding source stays under the complete control of the city of Ceres.
Most importantly, by establishing a much needed higher TOT rate, we are positioning our community for future funding. New construction of hotels and motels would generate even more funding, helping to offset future growth of Ceres.
The TOT ordinance for Ceres was last amended in 1964. This increase is long overdue. Frankly, we consider this tax increase a no brainer. It is the only tax Ceres residents don't pay - unless they stay at the hotels.
If you believe guests of our city should pay for their stay and use of our city services, then the Ceres Chamber of Commerce encourages you to vote yes on Measure E on Nov. 3.
Ceres Chamber of Commerce
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