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Measure J: Visitors would fund $1.6M in city services

Manteca voters will decide Nov. 6 whether visitors to the city booking a hotel room for $100 will pay $12 instead of $9 per night in room taxes.

The proposed jump from 9 percent to 12 percent would represent the first increase in the room tax in 17 years. It would also bring in $450,000 into the city’s general the first full fiscal year it is in place. Of that amount based on historic spending patterns, the city will have $315,000 more to spend on police and fire services. The city currently collects $1.2 million a year in room taxes. If Measure J is approved, room taxes generated would top $1.6 million in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

City Manager Tim Ogden speaking before the Manteca Rotary on Thursday at Ernie’s Rendezvous Room noted Great Wolf Resort when they open in mid-2020 would collect the higher tax but the increase generated if the 12 percent rate is approved by voters would all go to Manteca. Only the first 9 percent collected would be subject to the hotel tax split that ends after 25 years that was negotiated to land the 500-room hotel and indoor waterpark.

 Although Ogden did not speculate what that could mean to the general fund that pays for day-to-day municipal services such as police, fire, parks, streets, and the library, it will be substantial.

Based on a conservative financial analysis of the Great Wolf deal based on how their existing resorts perform, after the first full year of Great Wolf being open the city would receive $581,700. Given that any increase would go 100 percent to Manteca, having the 12 percent rate in place when Great Wolf opens could bump Manteca’s annual room tax from Great Wolf up to $2,023,700.

By voting to approve Measure J, Manteca voters would set the stage for upwards of $2.5 million more to be available to spend on municipal services once Great Wolf has been up and running for a year. That would mean about $1.7 million in new revenue would be available for police and fire services.

Ogden said the tax will primarily be paid by visitors to Manteca. It said it was a misnomer Manteca residents would never pay the tax as they would be subject to it if they booked a room at a Manteca hotel.

The city manager said “probably well over 99 percent” of the room taxes would be paid by non-Manteca residents.

The measure needs 50 percent plus one vote to pass.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email