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SAN JOSE, CA-San Jose officials want to increase the size of the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and hope to do so with Measure F, which would add 4% to hotel guest taxes to raise $370 million for the center.

The idea behind Measure F is simple: Hotels stand to make more money if there are more conventions in town so they should help foot the bill. Mayor Ron Gonzales has asked the city’s top hotels to help make sure that the measure passes by raising their room rates to fund the campaign.

According to city officials, Measure F will increase the hotel tax or Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from 10% to 14% to provide funding to expand and improve the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Only hotel guests will pay the lodging tax, so it will not affect residents’ income or property taxes. The tax hike would make hotel taxes in San Jose comperable with San Francisco.

Opponents of the measure say that it will be detrimental to hotels, which are already suffering from the lack of tourism and the downturn in the economy. These hotels will have to earn $370 million more than they currently earn, without any likely benefit to the hotels, employees, or stockholders. In addition, the hotels face less business, as revenue may go to cities whose hotels charge more competitive prices. Opponents also say that the extra tax burden will negatively affect all San Jose businesses that depend on business travel.

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