Bend Chamber Board Endorses Bend Transient Room Tax Increase

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City of Bend Room Tax Increase – Measure 9-94

This transient room tax is currently at 9 percent and with voter approval will increase by 1.4 percent to 10.4 percent.  The tax is slated to be increased in two-phases, to 10 percent next June, then another .4 percent in June 2015. By law 30 percent will go to the city general fund and the remaining 70 percent of the funds raised, approximately $650,000, would be shared between police and fire services, tourism promotion and an Arts & Cultural Fund. 

Over the next 10 years, this initiative will generate approximately $2.4 million for Bend’s police and fire departments, $3.8 million for economic development, and $1.8 million for the arts.30 percent of the revenue raised by this measure (approximately $200,000 annually), will be allocated to Bend’s police and fire departments to mitigate the city’s public safety funding shortfall and help ensure Bend’s police and fire departments can meet the demands of our growing population of visitors and residents. 

Approximately $300,000 annually will be employed to improving Bend’s economy, primarily through expanding Bend’s tourism marketing reach into Seattle and northern California to attract visitors and investment from these important, yet currently untapped, markets. This expansion of tourism marketing is estimated to generate an additional $42 million of visitor spending annually in Central Oregon. Around $150,000 annually will further augment Bend’s economy by establishing a long-term source of funding for the arts. In addition to enhancing Bend’s quality of life, Bend’s arts and cultural assets are critical to attracting new visitors, residents and jobs.  

The fund will be a unique and welcome opportunity for cultural tourism in Bend.It’s reasonable to expect tourists to pay a fair tax when visiting our region.  By comparison, other destinations’ combined lodging taxes and fees include Spokane (14 percent), Boise (13 percent), Boulder (12.3 percent), Santa Barbara (12 percent), Portland (14.5 percent), Seattle (17.6 percent), and South Lake Tahoe (15 percent). Ballots will be in your mailbox around October 19, please take the time to read the Voters Pamphlet and understand the value to our economy.

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