According to a survey by the U.S. Travel Association of travel and meeting industry professionals, travel to the San Francisco area may decrease this summer because of a proposed tax hike in San Mateo County.
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors’ proposed tax increase will appear on the June 5th ballot as measures T, U and X. If passed, rental car taxes would jump by 11.3%, the hotel occupancy tax by 20%, and it would establish a new 8% tax on parking.
Almost half the survey respondents said they would search for another place to hold their meetings instead of the San Francisco area. Another 25% said they would cut their spending if they decided to still hold events in the area.
In addition, 58% think the Bay Area’s tax rates are already one of the highest in the country.
In the past, travelers and visitors to San Francisco have generated more than $16 billion in spending and nearly $790 million in state and local taxes.
“Our survey results clearly show that raising taxes on travel goods and services would drive travelers to other destinations,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors’ proposed tax hike will hurt the local economy, deepen the county’s budget woes and will be felt throughout the Bay Area.”
Didi officials said there will now be mandatory facial-recognition scanning for all drivers before they pick up any fares.