Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Compromise Reached on Transient Room Tax

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 5:14 PM

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The contentious transient room tax issue was resolved moments before tonight's scheduled town hall at Bend's Municipal Court where both sides intended to continue the conversation on the proposed room tax-rate hike. Instead of jumping from 9 to 11 percent, as was suggested by Bend's tourism agency and others, a compromise was found in 10.4 percent.

Those supporting an increased tax rate (Visit Bend, Bend Firefighters Association, the arts community, Oxford Hotel, Bill Smith and others) were pushing for 11 percent in hopes of increasing funding for Bend's tourism reach, the arts, and emergency services. Those arguing for maintaining the current 9 percent tax rate (Riverhouse, Entrada Lodge and some other hoteliers) said now is not the time for a rate hike. Bend's room tax—a bed tax paid by tourists, not locals—is already lower than many other Northwest tourist destinations. Boise's room tax rate is 13 percent and Portland's is 14.5 percent.

If City Council approves the agreed upon rate of 10.4 percent the measure will go to voters in November. For background, read our story on the room tax issue here.

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