As I explained yesterday, the city attorney offered us a great view into the argument about whether the city’s 2 percent charge on hotel rooms is indeed a tax.

If it’s a tax, then voters have to approve it. Voters twice rejected an increase to the hotel room tax in 2004.

The city attorney believes that hotels pay the fee, not their guests. Since it’s a fee, then it can be imposed by the City Council without a vote.

But the memo hasn’t arrived, even after five years, to the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown San Diego. Note how the Hard Rock describes the fee to its visitors on their bills:

So, for the record, it’s not just me calling it a tax. It’s at least one hotel itself.

This is an official request: If you or a family or friend has stayed in a major hotel in the city of San Diego in the last five years, can you share a copy of the bill? (Note, from now on, if it stands, the fee will be on all hotels. But over the last five years, it’s only been on large hotels. So you might not see it if you or your friend stayed in a small hotel.)

Please, send them my way!

I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you’d like at or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!):

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Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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