The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, March 24, 2016 in the Letters section on page 2. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.
TOT aka Anti-Visitor Tax?
The transient occupancy tax (TOT) might be called the anti-visitor tax and is a nasty although widespread trend. It is now proposed to raise El Segundo’s TOT by 50% with the tired argument that it won’t cost us permanent residents anything, just make those outsiders pay. Of course, we will likely be hit with another city’s TOT, promoted by the same churlish reasoning, whenever we travel. So the net effect is a tax against anyone who doesn’t just sit at home. If surrounding cities have a higher TOT, fine, but we are proud of our safe and pleasant city and should only encourage more travelers to witness it. It is especially true because the proximity of LAX brings many foreign visitors into the neighborhood and they may well leave with a positive opinion of the United States if they experience El Segundo. Probably those visitors patronize our local businesses more than some of our cheapskate residents. And they must pay the high local sales tax. I urge my fellow citizens to reject the proposed increase. Within our city limits is a refinery operated by a corporation one of the world’s ten largest, if not in the top five, with enormous profits; we needn’t cast about for revenue sources.
– Edward Ryan