How does West Hollywood’s tax revenue compare to other cities?
More than half of the City’s revenue comes from taxes. We compared West Hollywood’s tax revenue to the other 481 cities and towns in California, particularly nearby cities, using data from the State Controller’s Office (SCO).
According to the SCO numbers, West Hollywood collected $1,639 in tax revenue per resident in 2014. That put West Hollywood in the 93rd percentile among California’s cities and towns. It was more than twice the statewide average of $776 per resident. You can see more detailed numbers by hovering over or touching the pieces of the chart below.
In 2014, West Hollywood at $1,639 had 60% more tax revenue per resident than Los Angeles ($1,019). However, West Hollywood’s tax revenue per resident was about a third of Beverly Hills’ ($4,595), roughly half of Santa Monica’s ($2,920), and three-quarters of Culver City’s ($2,152).
We tried to identify which California cities had per-resident numbers closest to West Hollywood’s across the five tax categories. The answer depended on how we defined “closest”. South Lake Tahoe, Burlingame (in the Bay Area), and Big Bear Lake were among the closest overall. Palm Springs and Santa Monica were also fairly close.
The biggest source of West Hollywood’s tax revenue is the hotel tax, formally known as the transient occupancy tax (TOT) or transient lodging tax. The City collected $541 of this tax per resident in 2014, almost 10 times the statewide average of $58. That puts the City in the 97th percentile among California cities. Santa Monica collected a similar amount per capita (actually about 10% less). Beverly Hills collected about 75% more.
Hotel taxes were 33% of West Hollywood’s tax revenue, which was a higher share than for 465 other cities and towns. Most of the 16 cities with even bigger hotel-tax shares than West Hollywood were vacation destinations, such as Avalon (on Catalina Island), Ojai, Monterey, and Anaheim (the home of Disneyland).
West Hollywood’s tax revenue includes a share of the property taxes paid here. Based on SCO data, the City was in the 89th percentile for property tax revenue per resident in 2014. The amount was $476, well above the $306 statewide average. It was between the numbers for Los Angeles and Santa Monica that year, but only a third of the amount in Beverly Hills.
West Hollywood also gets part of the sales and use taxes paid here. The revenue per resident was $393, more than double the statewide average of $180. It put the City in the 90th percentile. The amounts per resident were much lower in Los Angeles, but higher in Culver City, Santa Monica, and especially Beverly Hills.
Utility user tax
West Hollywood doesn’t have a utility user tax. The statewide average revenue per resident was $60 in 2014, or $115 for the 155 cities that levied the tax.
West Hollywood’s tax revenue includes other levies, such as the business license tax. The 2014 amount of other tax revenue per resident was $228, less than all of the neighboring cities, but more than the statewide average of $187. Among California cities, West Hollywood ranked in the 85th percentile.
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