Court says city can levy hotel tax on parking 

The city of San Francisco is entitled to charge its 14 percent hotel tax on hotel parking spaces or valet parking, according to a state appeals court.

The Court of Appeal, in a ruling issued in San Francisco on Wednesday, rejected a San Mateo County woman’s challenge to the application of the hotel tax to hotel parking.

The plaintiff in the case, Angel Batt, spent a night at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco in 2005. She was charged $55 for parking, including a 14 percent tax of $7.70 for the service.

The hotel tax was adopted by San Francisco in 1961 and brings The City more than $200 million per year in revenue.

Batt argued in her San Francisco Superior Court lawsuit that the tax should apply only to hotel rooms and not to parking spaces.

But a three-judge panel of the appeals court said the 1961 law specifies that the tax applies to both the use of a room and accompanying services.

Justice James Richman wrote that parking is an accompanying service, similar to laundry and dry cleaning, that may be conducted outside a hotel.

“Given the myriad of amenities offered by modern hotels ... the guest’s use of services and accommodations offered by the hotel need not occur within the confines of the actual room rented for occupancy,” Richmond wrote.

The panel upheld a ruling in which Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow said The City has the right to extend the tax to parking. 

 

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