Norman residents to vote Tuesday on room tax increase

Norman residents will be asked Tuesday to approve an increase in the hotel room tax.
BY JANE GLENN CANNON jcannon@opubco.com Published: March 30, 2013
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Residents will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether the city's hotel/motel room tax should be increased by 1 percent.

Voters are being asked to increase the hotel/motel room tax from 4 to 5 percent on overnight stays in the city's 2,831 hotel, motel and bed-and-breakfast rooms.

The tax, which originated in 1980, generated $1.11 million in fiscal year 2012.

Based on last year's tax collections, an increase of 1 percent would result in an additional $284,000 to be invested in convention and tourism development, the arts and city parks, said Stephen Koranda, executive director of the city's convention and visitors bureau.

“This tax increase is not paid for by Norman residents. It will be paid for by visitors to Norman,” Koranda said. “But, residents will reap the benefits from the additional tax.”

Currently, the city retains 3 percent of the amount collected 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 receive 25 percent. The division would remain the same if the measure is approved.

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