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POWAY-A ballot measure that will allow voters to decide whether to increase the city’s motel and hotel tax from 8% to 10% has cleared the City Council.Hotel and motel guests pay the tax known as the transient occupancy tax. If the measure fails at the ballot box, the tax would revert back to its 1980 level of 6%. The city raised it to 8% seven years ago.

With Councilman Jay Goldby dissenting, the council approved the ballot measure this week.

City officials say that when the 108-room Hampton Inn and Suites opens in the South Poway Business Park this fall, the tax could raise nearly $400,000 for city coffers annually. The city now has two hotels, the 43-room Poway Country Inn and the 47-room Ramada Limited.

A 10% transient-occupancy tax would be among the lowest in the county, supporters on the City Council pointed out. But Goldby, the sole opponent, said the city shouldn’t use hotel taxes to subsidize the city’s general fund.

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