With the collapse of new home construction and the subsequent recession, one of Hesperia and the High Desert's major economic engines, property tax revenue, has plummeted. But another revenue stream, sales tax, is still going although local governments see little of the tax paid within their borders.


As a general rule, 7.25 percent sales tax is charged to all purchases made in California. The majority 6.25 percent of the 7.25 of that goes to the state of California, mostly to the general fund, which can be spent in any fashion the legislature chooses and the governor approves of. The remaining 1 percent is divided in two: 0.25 percent of it goes to county transportation funds and 0.75 percent goes to city or county operations.


San Bernardino County also collects another half-cent sales tax. The Measure I funds (approved by voters in 1989 and renewed in 2004) are distributed through the San Bernardino Associated Governments for regional transportation needs.


Hesperia also has two more usage fees:


A 10 percent transient occupancy tax charged on hotel room stays. The revenue goes straight into the city's general fund.


A property transfer tax charged whenever property is transferred within the city limits. The owner is charged $1.10 per $1,000 of the sale. The revenue is split right down the middle, between the city and San Bernardino County.


Hesperia's take is similar to that of its neighbors:


Adelanto, like Hesperia, charges a 10 percent transient occupancy tax.


Apple Valley charges a 7 percent transient occupancy tax.


Barstow charges a 12.5 percent transient occupancy tax.


Victorville charges a 7 percent transient occupancy tax. In 2008, voters resoundingly rejected raising it to 10 percent, by 61.4 percent of the vote.


The neighboring cities don't take in any additional sales or use taxes, aside from gas taxes based partially on sales and distributed through the state.


Rene De La Cruz, Natasha Lindstrom, Katie Lucia and Brooke Edwards Staggs contributed to this report.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.