Is upswing in hotel/motel tax tourim or oil and gas?
December 31, 2013
Recent record highs in Marietta’s hotel/motel tax appear to be based more on the accelerating oil and natural gas industry than traditional tourism, but some members of city council say that doesn’t mean less of the revenue should go to the local convention and visitors bureau.
The city currently gives 50 percent of the 6 percent tax on stays in hotels and motels, commonly called the “bed tax,” to the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. That revenue is the organization’s largest source of funding.
The total collections have been higher than normal in the last couple of years: $786,154.32 in 2012 and $895,938.32 for 2013. That’s thanks in large part to people coming into the area to work on various aspects of exploring and extracting natural gas and oil from deep underground shale formations, although some merchants and hotel operators have indicated a recent increase in leisure travel as well, said Jeri Knowlton, executive director of the CVB.
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