San Juan Capistrano : Council to Vote Tonight on Increasing Bed Tax

Visitors attracted to San Juan Capistrano’s historic mission and its proximity to beaches and recreation spots soon will be paying a little more to stay in the city’s hotels and motels if a proposal to hike the bed tax is approved by the City Council.

San Juan Capistrano currently charges a transit occupancy tax of 6% of the total hotel bill. However, by raising the bed tax to 8%, city officials say they can garner an additional $25,000 in tax revenues during the current fiscal year.

Assistant City Manager Glenn Southard said the bed tax, which goes into the general fund, helps pay for police protection and other municipal services. The proposal to increase the tax, he said, was put off until neighboring areas adopted a similar rate.

“We tried to do this a while back, but our two hotel operators said we would be above the tax rates of the surrounding areas,” he said. “Now the county and San Clemente are at those levels, so it’s time for a raise.”

The tax increase would require preliminary approval tonight and final approval at a second reading Oct. 1. If approved, it would take effect 30 days later.