View Full Version : How should the higher hotel tax be used?

07-08-2004, 04:59 PM
As you may know, the city of Oklahoma City wants to raise the hotel-motel tax by two percent. The idea was to enhance the fairgrounds.

They want new buildings to replace the decaying exibit buildings, to remove both the speedway and the old stadium and to dismantle the monorail. I presume paved parking.

During the July 7 council meeting, Jerry Foshee said he wants the money to go toward improvements in our city parks.

Personally, I want the new fairgrounds. Yes. I am in favor of relocating the speedway to Draper and demolishing the old stadium to make more parking. However, I am NOT in favor of losing our monorail.

I would also like to see the Heartland Dome (remember that one, Patrick) out of the proceeds with a raise of the hotel-motel tax and a slight raise in the vehicle rental tax (already among the highest in the nation anyway) to ten percent (hotel), 15 percent for vehicle rental. Use half for the stadium project.

What do you guys think? What would you do?

07-08-2004, 05:29 PM
The state fairgrounds are more logical for a hotel tax increase because they generate a significant number of tourists. Parks primarily serve residents and don't pull in many visitors. You want to keep funding sources and their uses aligned. Besides, it's about time for an improvement; the grounds don't seem to be as much an attraction and asset as they could be.

But what are the current tax rates for hotel and vehicle rental. That last rate seems a bit punitive.

07-08-2004, 05:38 PM
The vehicle rental tax is 14%, which is among the top ten in the country. The hotel tax is said to be three percent, and has not been raised in 30 years.

Make the hotel tax ten percent and the vehicle tax 15. That adds, what? nine percent? Use 4.5% for the fairgrounds and another 4.5% for the Heartland Dome.

07-09-2004, 01:12 AM
I agree...the entire State Fair project right now needs $300 million. THe hotel tax will only help as it will raise $100 million. The rest will have to come from a MAPS III. I think Mick Cornett said the hotel tax would be used for just livestock issues, like building a couple of new arenas and barns, and renovating existing livestock facilities. The rest of the buildings and the grounds themselves need work though. All of the buildings could use exterior work, and we could really use some landscaping at the Fairgrounds.

I say let all of the hotel tax go towards the Fair Grounds.

Oh and by the was the former Fair director, Skip Wagner that wanted to completely eliminate the Grandstand. He's gone now, and Mick Cornett said they're looking at renovating the existing Grandstand or building an antire new one instead. I think that's a better option. Also, All Sports Stadium will still be demolished and turned into parking. That's a good's an eyesore right now and can't really be used for anything besides baseball. Demolish it.

The current fair director in the meantime needs to work on getting some of the old vendors back, and fixing what Skip Wagner broke.

07-09-2004, 05:15 PM
I just thought of something. I travel on a regular basis and stay in motels about 30 days per year.

On average the hotel tax across the country is 12%. Raising ours to ten percent still places us in the middle to lower tier.

Another percent is not going to kill the number of cars rented at Will Rogers. So, why not? Then we can use it to enhance our city.

07-09-2004, 10:09 PM
Rental cars are an easy tax to slap on because the demand is so inelastic. The public transporation option isn't quite there, and nobody wants to keep paying a taxi for their every destination.

07-11-2004, 12:11 PM
I think Mr. Anderson has a great idea. Upping the tax on rental cars wouldn't be bad at all, and would give us more money for the Fair Grounds.