Norman City Council OKs vote on guest room tax hike
Norman voters will go to the polls April 2 to consider raising the city's hotel/motel tax from 4 to 5 percent.
NORMAN — Residents will go to the polls April 2 to vote on raising the hotel/motel room tax.
City council members Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution calling for the election, asking voters to approve increasing the tax from 4 to 5 percent tax on overnight stays in the city's 2,831 hotel, motel and bed-and-breakfast rooms.
“Any increase is an improvement over our current budget,” said Stephen Koranda, executive director of the city's convention and tourism bureau.
Koranda said Norman visitors and tourism center is “glaringly underfunded,” ranking 13th of 18 among Big 12 cities.
The city retains 3 percent of the money as reimbursement for administering the tax. The remaining 97 percent is divided among the convention and visitors bureau, which gets 50 percent; the arts, which get 25 percent; and parks, which get 25 percent. The division would remain the same, if the measure is approved.
The tax, which originated in 1980, generated $1,133,930 in fiscal year 2012.
Councilman Roger Gallagher said he favored raising the rate by 1.5 cents and considered the 1 cent increase a compromise with those who preferred keeping the rate lower. Most council members said they preferred the rate to remain lower than Oklahoma City's 5.5 percent tax rate because it would give Norman a competitive edge in attracting conventions and other large group stays in the metro area.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 18732Oklahoma devastated by second round of twisters
- 15952Read live updates from the May 20 Moore tornado
- 12196Several kids pulled out of Oklahoma school rubble alive
- 10745How to help tornado victims
- 10241At least 51 die in Oklahoma tornado, official says
- 2753Oklahoma twister tracked path of 1999 tornado
- 2638Oklahoma City tornado so large, may not be recognized, officials say