The Norman Transcript

Opinion

January 24, 2013

Together for the cause

NORMAN — The lodging industry is about as competitive as they come these days. National and local hoteliers compete for room nights against each other and jointly against other cities for larger events.

They look like they are in collective agreement on the city council’s proposal to raise the guest room tax from 4 percent to 5 percent.

A plan to raise the rate a few years ago was met with disapproval and didn’t move forward. Norman is somewhere near the middle of room tax rates. Oklahoma City’s rate is 5.5 percent. The tax on the city’s 2,831 rooms generates more than $1 million a year.

After the city takes its 3 percent administrative fee, half of the remaining funds go to the city’s convention and visitors bureau. The remainder is split between the arts and the city parks department.

The head of the city’s convention and tourism bureau and the general manager of the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center appeared before the council Tuesday night in support of the increase.

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