Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
KQED’s 2022 Voter Guide@KQEDnews
Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election

City of Pismo Beach
Measure B-20 Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


4,350 votes yes (80.82%)

1,032 votes no (19.18%)

100% of precincts reporting (3/3).

5,890 ballots counted.

To maintain police and firefighter service levels; reduce 911 emergency response times; protect local groundwater and beaches; and enhance senior programming and other essential services, shall the hotel/visitor tax be increased by 1%, paid by visitors, generating approximately $1 million annually, until ended by voters, requiring annual audits and local control of funds?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

YES vote means

A YES vote approves the measure.

NO vote means

A NO vote rejects the measure.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

David Fleishman City Attorney, City of Pismo Beach

If approved by the voters, Measure B-20, entitled The Pismo Beach Public Safety and Community Services Protection Measure, would amend section 3.20.030 of the Pismo Beach Municipal Code to increase the City’s transient occupancy tax rate from 10 percent to 11 percent.

The transient occupancy tax, sometimes known as a “hotel tax”, is paid by visitors and others who stay for thirty consecutive days or less in the City’s hotels, motels, vacation rentals and other similar lodging businesses.  The lodging businesses then forward the tax to the City.  The tax is not imposed on residents or property owners of the City unless they stay in the lodging businesses.

For example, if a hotel charges $100.00 per night for a hotel room, the transient occupancy tax paid by the hotel guest under the current ordinance would be $10.00.  If the proposed measure is approved, the transient occupancy tax for the same hotel room would be $11.00, or an increase of $1.00 per night. 

The revenues from the increased tax imposed by this measure would be deposited into the City’s General Fund to be used for such general municipal governmental purposes as the City Council directs.   Among such purposes are police and firefighter services, groundwater and beach protection, enhanced senior services and other essential City services.  If approved, the additional transient occupancy tax revenue collected by the City is estimated to be $1 million per year. 

This measure is a general tax, and therefore, this measure will only become effective if approved by a majority of those electors voting on the measure.  The transient occupancy tax cannot be increased again without voter approval.  The transient occupancy tax was last increased in 1992.

A YES vote approves the measure.

A NO vote rejects the measure.

This measure was placed on the ballot by the City Council of the City of Pismo Beach.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

Measure B-20 would adjust the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) just 1% from 10% to 11% of the cost of a hotel/motel room. The TOT is paid for by tourists and visitors who stay in our hotels and motels; Pismo Beach residents do not pay this tax. The TOT is also applicable to short-term rentals.

Visitors use our roads, parks and emergency services as they enjoy all that Pismo Beach has to offer; from the beach, to our parks, to restaurants, shops and other amenities throughout our vibrant community. Raising the TOT represents a direct and fair way to recover the increased costs associated with visitor stays in Pismo Beach.

A modest 1% increase in the visitor tax will not hurt tourism and it does not place Pismo Beach out of market range. Tourists spend millions of dollars each year which sustains many local businesses. This, in turn, generates tax dollars that fund essential local government services. The proposed increase achieves an important balance between maintaining our competitiveness for tourism, while providing an opportunity to fund essential city services. The revenue from Measure B-20 will help fund critical services, and none of the money can be taken away by the State; all Measure B-20 revenue will stay local.

Please join us in voting YES on Measure B-20 and help our city build a stronger local economy and protect important city services.

s/ Ed Waage  Mayor, City of Pismo Beach 

s/Marcia Guthrie  Council Member, City of Pismo Beach

s/Erik Howell  Mayor Pro Tem, City of Pismo Beach

s/Sheila Blake  City Council Member, City of Pismo Beach

s/Mary Ann Reiss  Council Member, City of Pismo Beach  



Arguments AGAINST


Use tabs to select your choice. Use return to create a choice. You can access your choices by navigating to 'My Choices'.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.