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TAX NEWS - June 2010

Santa Barbara Tax: 'Bed tax' measure ahead, oil project behind

Santa Barbara County voters were overwhelmingly supporting Measure K, a countywide measure that would keep the "bed tax" paid by tourists at 10 percent of their hotel bills.

Without voter approval, the tax would drop to 8 percent in the unincorporated areas of the county, but not in cities such as Santa Maria and Lompoc that have their own ordinances for the "bed tax," or transient occupancy tax.

With 64.2 percent of precincts reporting, 73.1 percent of voters had voted "yes" on Measure K, and 26.9 percent were opposed.

However, voters in the city of Carpinteria were strongly against Measure J, which would have given the green light to an oil and natural-gas project, proposed by Venoco Inc., using an onshore extended-reach drilling rig.

With only 1,749 mailed-in votes counted as of 11:30 p.m., Measure J had 67.9 percent "no" votes and 32.1 percent "yes" votes.
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