Big Bear Lake City Council voted unanimously to seek voter approval of a 2 percent increase in the transient occupancy tax. The additional revenue will be earmarked for local law enforcement and fire protection services, if approved.
At the Sept. 23 City Council meeting Kelly Ent, director of government services for the city, said that during budget workshops the success of the Valley as a four-season resort has presented challenges in managing public safety resources.
The growing need for an alternate source of funding for public safety has become evident, Ent said.
That is not unlike what Big Bear Fire is experiencing in its need for additional funding, Ent said. Big Bear Fire Chief Jeff Willis shared that the community wants the public and visitor population to pay some of the cost of the services and should be done through TOT, Ent told the council.
Transient occupancy tax is a major funding source for the city, and the city cannot give up that revenue, Ent said. An increase in the TOT, which would be set aside specifically for public safety is possible, she said.
The 2 percent increase would be split evenly, with 1 percent going to law enforcement and 1 percent going to fire protection and emergency medial service.
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