Eli Walsh/Bay City News Foundation

NOVATO (CBS SF) — Novato residents Tuesday appeared to favor, by a three-to-one margin, a ballot measure that would increase the city’s hotel tax by 2 percent.

With all 13 of the city’s precincts reporting, slightly more than 77 percent of Novato voters favored the “transient occupancy tax” increase. The city’s current transient occupancy tax is 10 percent of a hotel guest’s room rate and has remained unchanged since 1997.

The 2 percent hotel tax increase would provide an additional $400,000 in annual tax revenue, according to city officials.

Novato collected $1.82 million in hotel tax revenue during the 2019-2020 fiscal year but is projected to collect only $1.45 million during the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

City officials estimate the tax increase could boost hotel tax revenue by $400,000 in its first 12 months. All hotel tax funding is used to fund local expenditures like infrastructure repairs, emergency response services and recovery efforts from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Elsewhere in Marin County, San Rafael voters appeared poised to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase over nine years that is estimated to generate some $3.4 million per year for services like street repairs, disaster preparedness and park maintenance.

Just over 62 percent of San Rafael voters approved of the measure, according to the county’s unofficial election results.

The measure’s approval would nudge the city’s sales tax rate to 9.25 percent. All sales tax revenue would be placed in the city’s general fund, according to San Rafael City Attorney Robert Epstein.

Unofficial results also showed Marin County voters overwhelmingly supporting three school district funding measures, including a pair of parcel tax extensions.

The Shoreline Unified School District’s Measure L, which would extend a $212 per parcel tax for eight years, had roughly 84 percent support from voters with both of the district’s precincts reporting.

Measure M, which would extend the Tamalpais Union High School District’s $469 annual per parcel tax for nine years, had nearly 74 percent support, according to unofficial results from the district’s 57 precincts.

Some 77 percent of voters in the Sausalito Marin City School District appeared to support a measure that would authorize the district to issue $41.6 million in bonds, which district officials said will fund the construction and modernization of classrooms and upgrades to the district’s libraries and science labs, among other things.

Marin County election officials have reported 101,111 ballots cast as of Tuesday night. Approximate 58 percent of the county’s registered voters cast a ballot, according to the county.

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