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Labor Union and Travel Industry Leaders Unite to Oppose
Proposed San Mateo, California County Travel Taxes

Warn that Tax Hikes will Negatively Impact Local Economy
WASHINGTON, DC- June 4, 2012 – Teamsters Local 853 today joined with local and national travel industry leaders to urge San Mateo County residents to vote “No” on new tax measures, saying the tax hikes threaten local economic growth.  Today’s announcement is the latest signal of the strong opposition building against the sweeping travel tax measures proposed by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

“A new tax won’t put anyone to work, won’t boost anyone’s paycheck, and won’t help create a better living for the working men and women of San Mateo County,” said Daniel Varela, Teamsters Local 853 Business Agent.  Teamsters Local 853 opposes Measure T which would add a 2.5% tax on rental car businesses.  Its members include rental car employees at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).  “Our members know that more travelers coming to SFO mean more jobs.  Instead of deterring visitors by raising taxes, the Board of Supervisors should be concentrating on policies that will generate jobs and strengthen wages.”

The proposed rental car tax will appear on the June 5th ballot along with measures U and X. Measure U would boost the hotel occupancy tax on SFO-area hotels by 20% and Measure X establishes a new 8% levy on parking at SFO and local hotels.

“Travel workers and business leaders are in lock-step agreement when it comes to these proposed measures: Higher travel taxes will drive visitors away, right when they’re needed most to sustain local jobs and economic growth,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.

A recent survey jointly-conducted by San Francisco Travel Association, U.S. Travel Association, and Meeting Professionals International, found that should these measures become law, over 40% of travel and meeting industry professionals would  reconsider holding their next meeting or event in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Raising taxes on travelers is the last thing we need during a time of sputtering growth and a stagnant jobs market,” said Joe D’Alessandro, the President and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association. “We simply cannot afford to take on more taxes, or risk losing visitors.”

The travel industry is one of the Bay Area’s top five employers and generates $21 billion in local spending.

The U.S. Travel Association
is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $1.9 trillion in economic output and supports 14.4 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.  Visit  Follow us on Twitter @ustravel

Cathy Keefe
(202) 408-2183

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Also See: Congressional Hearing Highlights U.S. Travel Industry as Key to Future Economic Growth / May 2012

An Open Letter to the Industry on the Preservation of Government Conferences / Roger Dow, President, U.S. Travel Association / May 2012

Travel Industry Continues as One of the Prime Drivers of U.S. Economic Recovery; Travel-Generated Employment Adds 48,700 Jobs in Q1 2012, Contributing 6.1% of all Non-Farm Jobs Added During the Same Period / May 2012

Survey Shows Proposed San Mateo County, California Tax Hike will Discourage Travel to the San Francisco Bay Area, Severely Affecting Local Economy; Travel Industry Urges Local Residents to Vote No on Measures T, U and X / May 2012

Travelhorizons Report Offers New Insight on US Travel; While Recovery Continues for Business Travel Intentions, Americans Remain Tentative about Near-Term Leisure Travel Plans / April 2012

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Testifies in Support of Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act; Urges Expansion of Visa Waiver Program to Simplify Process for Visitors to the U.S. without Compromising Security / March 2012

Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Calls for National Agenda to Strengthen Meetings Industry; Commences Term as Chair of the U.S. Travel Association / March 2012

Travel Employment Outpaces Rest of U.S. Economy by 34%; More than Half of the Travel Industry Jobs Lost During Recession Have Been Recovered / March 2012

U.S. Travel Association Launches 2012 Vote Travel Campaign; Plans to have a Significant Presence at the Upcoming Political Party Conventions and Host Nationwide Rallies and Events to Raise Travel Industry Profile / January 2012

U.S. Travel Association Analysis Shows Travel Employment Rebound in December with the Travel Industry Creating Jobs at a Faster Rate than the Rest of the Economy / January 2012

U.S. Travel Association Issues Statement on President Obama's Jobs Speech / September 2011

U.S. Travel Association Discusses Impact of 9/11 on Travel Industry; Releases Principles for Building a More Secure and Efficient U.S. Travel System / August 2011

Analysis of Labor Department Report Shows that the Travel Industry Accounts for More than 1 in 10 Jobs Created in 2011; Travel Jobs Continue to Increase for Eighth Consecutive Month / August 2011

U.S. Travel Association Releases Comprehensive Analysis Proving Tourism Promotion Campaigns Increase Visitation Resulting in More Jobs, State and Local Tax Revenue / July 2011

U.S. Travel Association Releases New Research Results Showing 49% of Travelers Alter Plans Due to High Travel Taxes; Launches Travel Tax Institute / April 2011

Roger Dow, President & CEO of the US Travel Association, Awarded the Spirit of Hospitality Award at Destination & Travel Foundation Dinner / February 2011

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