The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 20, 2013

Say yes to guest tax April 2

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Before the city council proceeded with calling for an election April 2 to raise the transient guest tax from 4 to 5 percent, the Norman hotel community was asked for input and our hoteliers involved spoke in favor of this move.

As one of many hoteliers in Norman, it is always a concern to ensure that any tax increase would not put Norman at a disadvantage when selling against other destinations for the highly competitive event, conference, convention and sports markets. The Norman hoteliers that provided feedback are in favor of this increase for the following reasons:

The transient guest tax is money that is paid by overnight guests at Norman’s lodging establishments and not Norman residents.

The money generated from that tax is split between the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau (50 percent), the Norman Arts Council and the Norman Parks and Recreation (25 percent each).

The additional funds generated by the increase would provide much needed support for our Convention and Visitors Bureau to market and promote our destination and fill our conference spaces and facilities. This will generate more business for our many hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and shopping venues. Simply put, the additional room tax dollars paid by overnight visitors contributes to the city’s economy.

From a community standpoint, the additional funds gained by the Norman Arts Council and Norman Parks and Recreation Department would help maintain and support programs that will further enhance the quality of life in Norman.

I urge you to vote “yes” on April 2.

Michael Vance

General manager, Norman Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center

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