LONG BEACH — Lodging and sales tax revenues for the city of Long Beach continued on an upward trend during September, according to a report presented at the Oct. 5 Long Beach City Council meeting.
More than $411,000 in cumulative lodging tax collections have been taken in this year, more than $136,000 above average and a nearly $49,000 jump over collections recorded at the same time in 2014, according to the report. Sales tax collections were similarly on the rise. More than $331,000 in sales tax was collected by the city last month, a jump of around $21,000 over the same time last year.
The use of similar funds at the county level became a topic of discussion for Councilman Mark Perez.
Perez attended a meeting of the Pacific County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, which provides recommendations to county commissioners on funding activities related to tourism, according to the committee’s website. During the city council meeting, Perez expressed frustration that the committee awarded the county sheriff $10,000 — rather than his requested $25,000 — from lodging tax funds for additional policing during busy times of the year.
“When you exceed the capacity of your law enforcement and people do not feel safe, you end up deterring tourists, and endangering the citizens you represent,” Perez said.
Long Beach Chief of Police Flint Wright commended the city council for supporting requests for extra officers when they are needed in the city. He added, however, that even when funds are made available, finding additional officers to work during busy periods can be difficult.
Chief Wright also presented his monthly report to the council. During the weekend of Rod Run, Sept. 11 through Sept. 13, an additional 24 officers came to the city. For the first time ever during the event, no one was booked in jail over the course of the weekend, the report said. During the weekend, Long Beach police issued 24 citations this year, down from 43 citations in 2014, according to the report.
A previous version of this story erroneously stated that the more than $411,000 in lodging taxes collected by the city were taken in during the month of September. The collections are cumulative throughout the year.