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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 17, 2015 03:33 PM
From: Representative Keith Gillespie
To: All House members
Subject: Hotel Tax - former HB2515
I plan to re-introduce legislation that will give 54 counties the option to increase the maximum county hotel room tax from three percent to five percent. These counties currently are authorized to impose the tax under two sections of the County Code. This bill is a response to requests from our counties and local visitor bureaus that need the additional authority to address their tourism funding needs.

My legislation enables but does not require any of these counties to increase the rate. Rather, it provides the discretion our local governments need to address their local tourism issues. Tourism increases visitation to the county or region, which generates revenue and economic development locally. It is important to note that our counties and the local visitor bureaus have requested this additional taxing authority to fill the gap left by the DCED’s funding retreat from overall state tourism marketing and promotion in recent years.

The bill, which is HB 2515 of last session, has the full support of the county commissioners, the state’s visitor bureaus and the lodging industry. It achieves their goals of providing equality, uniformity and clarity in the state’s room tax laws. Counties that do not wish to revisit their tax ordinances should see minimal changes in how their tax is collected and spent.

Introduced as HB794