SF hikes hotel assessments to bolster tourism group, Moscone Center

Approved measure increases rate by 0.25%, adding $1.25 to a $500 hotel room bill

SF Travel CEO Joe D’Alessandro and the Moscone Center (SF Travel, Getty)
SF Travel CEO Joe D’Alessandro and the Moscone Center (SF Travel, Getty)

San Francisco approved a measure to increase its hotel room assessment in a move that’s expected to generate millions of additional dollars for a Moscone Center “buy-down fund” while adding a relatively tiny amount to people’s room bills.

The Board of Supervisors voted this week to increase the assessment rate by 0.25 percent citywide, according to the San Francisco Business Times. The rate will increase to 1.25 percent starting in 2024 for over 33,000 hotel rooms and 3,000 short-term rentals in the city’s core tourism area, mainly downtown near the Moscone Center and Fisherman’s Wharf, the publication reported. Rooms outside the area will see it increase to 1 percent come 2024.

The rate increase means that a $300 room downtown will cost 75 cents extra, bringing the total room assessment to $3.75, the Business Times said. A $500 room elsewhere in the city’s core will cost $1.25 extra, translating to a total assessment of $6.25.

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The San Francisco Travel Association, the main recipient of the assessment’s revenue, hailed the vote as an important step in helping the city’s ailing tourism industry recover, the Business Times reported. SF Travel expects the assessment hike will bring in an extra $10 million annually for a fund that incentivizes convention bookings at Moscone Center, San Francisco’s largest venue. The fund covers a portion of the center’s rental fees and transportation and security costs.

— Matt Niksa

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