© 2023 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Trinity County voters to decide on increased hotel tax

An old, historic hotel building across the street in a wild west style. The sign above says "Weaverville Hotel"
Jimmy Emerson
The Weaverville Hotel & Emporium in Weaverville, California. The hotel is listed on the National Register of historic places.

Trinity County’s short-term lodging tax is currently half that of its neighbors. This November, voters will decide whether to double their hotels and vacation rental tax.

Trinity County's current transit occupancy tax is 5%. The proposed tax rate would be set at 10%.

The proposal came from a need to provide more funding for economic development, fire services and law enforcement, according to Teckla Johnson, the president of the Weaverville Chamber of Commerce, which is neutral on the measure.

“We have such limited resources anyways," Johnson says. "We could have two people in our county out on patrol in an evening, and we have a really large county. So, if you have a call that’s at one end of our county and we have an officer that’s at a different end of our county, that leaves us vulnerable.”

Trinity County sees high numbers of visitors for outdoor recreation who come for the county's hiking, fishing and boating opportunities.

Johnson says some residents want to see the money reserved specifically for public safety and economic development, rather than going to the general fund. The county tried that approach with a tax proposal in 2015 but failed. This year's proposal would just need a simple majority to pass the tax.

“In our community, people see the word tax and are nervous," Johnson says. "They’re not seeing that this is a tax on a visitor coming in and not a tax on the people living here.”

She expects the tax increase would bring in an additional $300,000 per year.

Corrected: October 24, 2022 at 9:02 AM PDT
This story has been updated to correct a typo in one instance of 'county'
After graduating from Oregon State University, Roman came to JPR as part of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism in 2019. He then joined Delaware Public Media as a Report For America fellow before returning to the west coast.