The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Headlines

March 29, 2013

Hotel tax taps into outside income

NORMAN — Transient guest tax, more popularly known as hotel/motel tax, taps into outside sources to boost city income. When guests visit Norman, the special tax levied on the hotel or motel where they are staying funds public arts, parks and tourism promotion.

Voters can vote on a 25 percent increase hotel/motel tax increase during the city’s election on Tuesday. If approved, the rate would change from 4 percent to 5 percent and begin May 1. Parks, the arts and Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau will see more money, starting in July when Fiscal Year 2014 starts if voters say yes.

“Attracting outside tax dollars builds Norman’s economy and quality of life,” Norman CVB Executive Director Stephen Koranda said. “This is not a tax that would be paid by Norman citizens but by those who stay at our lodging establishments.”

City leaders look at the hotel/motel tax as free money because it is generated primarily from visitors rather than residents of the city.

Unlike other sales tax, which taps into the purses of shoppers — whether they are Norman residents or visitors, the hotel/motel tax generates a funding stream from sources that stretch around the globe.

Even so, city leaders do not take increasing that tax lightly. Keeping the tax low enough to be competitive, especially with Oklahoma City and Tulsa, means Norman can bring in conventions and other statewide events.

In January, the Norman City Council voted to place a measure on the April 2 ballot to raise the current Transient Guest Tax. After careful study and discussion with local business and lodging owners, city leadership decided the conservative 1 percent increase will keep Norman competitive in the convention and conference market while increasing funding for parks, arts and promotion.

The current 4 percent Transient Guest Tax has been in place since 1980.

Half of the hotel tax collected funds the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau. The NCVB works hard to promote tourism within the city and bring in even more outside dollars.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Oklahoma City Memorial Bombing museum gets tech boost

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A memorial and museum built to remember the worst act of domestic terrorism on American soil is in the midst of a $7 million upgrade so it can better portray how different the world was when Timothy McVeigh blew up the ...

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Is Okla. backing off accountability?

    One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal....

    April 19, 2014

  • Hope Trunk travels to Norman

    The rustle of paper could be heard as students meticulously folded one crane, then another and another Friday afternoon. After reading the inspiring story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Gaylord to get $35,000 grant for poverty project

    A team from Gaylord College is among the first winners in a national competition to fund innovative news experiments that serve communities, the Online News Association has announced....

    April 19, 2014

  • U.S. puts off pipeline decision

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely....

    April 19, 2014

  • Garage sale to benefit Team Jamie’s Crew set

    A garage sale to benefit Team Jamie’s Crew will start at 9 a.m. today at 1510 Melrose Drive....

    April 19, 2014

  • Sonic plans expansion

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma-based Sonic Corp. plans to open 1,000 new drive-in restaurants nationwide over the next 10 years, expanding the chain by about 30 percent, the company said....

    April 19, 2014

  • Singing Sooners show set

    The University of Oklahoma School of Music presents the Singing Sooners Spring Show at 8 p.m. Friday, April 25 in the Sharp Concert Hall, Catlett Music Center. Jim Graves and Stephen Ziegler serve as directors for the group....

    April 19, 2014

  • Study: Half of jailed youths have injury

    NEW YORK — About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City’s jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that’s the latest in a growing body of ...

    April 19, 2014