Want more police to protect the county from meth heads and other criminals? Want more local stores to shop at? Want the pothole on your street to get filled?
Then support Measures A-D on the Nov. 7 ballot.
The measures will bring revenue to Del Norte County and Crescent City to boost local tourism, our area's main industry.
And the great thing is you won't pay a penny of these four proposed tax increases.
Measures A-D increase the transient occupancy tax, better known as a bed tax, that travelers pay when they stay here. Crescent City voters can cast ballots on all four proposals while non-city voters in the rest of the county can cast ballots on Measures A-C.
Under the county and city proposals, increased revenue from the four measures would create a visitors bureau and pay to market our county to travelers. Those are necessary steps if we are to attract more people to our area -- an area with beautiful ocean views, gorgeous national and state parks and neat boutique shops and restaurants. Currently, very little is being done to market our area to travelers. The result is lost tourism to other California and Oregon communities that are marketing themselves. Indeed, many of our motels and hotels have lower than 50 percent occupancy rates.
When tourists visit, they buy gas for their vehicles, dine at our restaurants and shop at our stores for souvenirs, groceries, toothpaste and more. The sales tax from those varied purchases pay for our city and county services. If enough tourists come here, existing businesses become more profitable and new ones open, meaning more local jobs and places to shop.
Measure D by far will raise the most money for tourism promotion by generating $164,000. It raises Crescent City's bed tax from 10 percent to 12 percent. Measure C, which extends the transient occupancy tax to RV parks, would raise $130,000. Measure B increases the county's bed tax from 8 percent to 10 percent for $62,500 in new revenue. Measure A closes a loophole so government officials now will have to pay the bed tax for an additional $2,000.
Most travelers won't even notice the increases. Taxes often aren't listed on online reservation portals such as Orbitz and Travelocity. But Del Norte County residents will notice a difference in a couple of years when business profits rise and new stores open. So on Tuesday, back Measures A-D.