Earlier this year, the city of Aliso Viejo granted a request to the Renaissance ClubSport hotel for a hotel bed tax exemption for one special group of people.
And guess who is catching the tax break: Internal Revenue Service agents.
According to Aliso Viejo Mayor Phil Tsunoda, the city’s lone hotel asked for the tax break on a “contingent of IRS agents” because it wanted to get its fledgling business off the ground. If the hotel had imposed the tax, it would have driven the price of a room too high for the IRS agents, and they would have sought out another hotel, City Manager Mark Pulone said.
The agents periodically fly in to work out of the Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel and then stay at the hotel, Pulone said.
Last night, the City Council granted a six-month extension on the tax exemption after the hotel said it still needed the business of the IRS agents. Tsunoda dismissed the notion that the tax break meant less revenue to the city.
“They will still shop in Aliso Viejo, and they will still use our businesses,” Tsunoda said.
According to a staff report, the hotel is “optimistic” that it won’t need to rely on the business of federal agents after this next six-month period is over and that the hotel doesn’t expect to ask for another extension.
“They hope another six months will take them over the hump,” Pulone said.
The hotel’s general manager, Ed Tomlin, wasn’t available for immediate comment.