BREAKING NEWS: TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO END TBID (UPDATED)
A surprise 3-2 majority ends the Tourism Business Improvement District and future funding for marketing as of October 1
Update September 16: Yesterday, Mayor McArthur Wright called a special meeting of City Council for Monday, September 18 at 6pm. The topic? “Reconsideration of Resolution Approving Annual Assessment for Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID).” Also we felt we should clarify our reporting on the 1.5% levy that funds the TBID. 9% TOT, plus the 1.5% TBID levy, is added to the bill handed to guests and then paid to the City by the hotel, STR etc. It is the guest who is taxed, not the accommodation itself. We have clarified our article to make this clearer.
In a surprise 3-2 decision, Twentynine Palms City Council voted to end the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) at last night’s September 12 meeting.
As expected, Council members Joel Klink and Daniel Mintz voted in favor of the resolution authorizing the 1.5% addition to the TOT taxes which funds the TBID and the City’s marketing budget. Up to this point, Mayor Pro Tem Steven Bilderain and Mayor McArthur Wright had largely withheld public comment on the issue. Council member Octavious Scott had reiterated his concern that businesses not wanting to pay the tax (ie levy the extra 1.5% tax on their guests) should be exempted. When the roll call took place for approving the 1.5% assessment resolution however, Scott, Bilderain and Wright joined together to kill it. The TBID and the 1.5% assessment ends with the close of the fiscal year on September 30.
The vote came after City Manager Luckino tallied a weighted protest vote on behalf of stakeholders in the accommodations sector which fell short of the 50% +1 needed to end the 1.5% assessment. Just 18.82% were against according to Luckino.
After the Council’s no vote, Luckino’s confirmation of the “TBID not going forward” was met with applause from the public. Mayor Wright chimed in,
That’s enough. And the reason I voted that way is even though it’s 18%, you guys are making the most noise, so clearly you don’t want it. So we need to go in a different direction.
Desert Trumpet will discuss the implications of the vote in more depth in our City Council meeting recap this weekend.
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