Supervisor Walker looks to have residential hotel residents not be taxed if their rent is less than $20.00 a day. This a change from the (then) current exemption at $5.00 which is basically unseen in the city.
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Poor Hurt by Hotel Tax, Security Lacks
Supervisor Nancy Walker says it’s unfair to tax low-income San Francisco who live in residential hotels to subsidize the opera and performing arts groups.
She wants hotel taxes waived on rooms renting for up to $20 a day or $65 a week.
For the first 30 days of occupancy, current law exempts only those rooms rented for $5 a day or less, a figure Walker finds totally unrealistic in today’s market.
“I know of no hotel room in the City which meets the current exemption,” Walker said Monday when she introduced her legislation to change the tax law.
She noted that a general assistance welfare recipient, who receives a total of only $288 a month, can pay up to $25 a month, almost 10 percent of his income, in hotel taxes.
Walker said adoption of her measure would put that money “back where it belongs, in the pockets of GA recipients struggling to survive in our City”
The Walker proposal was recommended by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic with support from the Golden Gate Hotel Association.
The Tax Collector’s Office reports that eliminating the hotel tax on rooms costing between $5 and $20 a day would not have a significant impact on the $36 million hotel tax fund.
Low-income occupants of public housing projects also received some attention from Supervisor John Molinari Monday.
The board president said that the $200,000 spent on security guards at City Hall would be better invested if it were used to provide security guards at senior citizen housing projects.
Molinari is at odds with Mayor Dianne Feinstein over whether five security guards are needed to staff metal detectors at the public entrances to City Hall.
The mayor insists they are, and points out that knives, guns and heavy objects have been confiscated at the check-points.
Molinari says the $200,000 should be split between senior citizen housing projects, such as Rosa Parks in the Western Addition, and the Hall of Justice where criminal cases are tried.