Blogs » Paradigm Shifter » Boot the Hotel Tax

Subscribe



With the ever-unpopular Bring Your Boots campaign on the bubble and the controversial funding of the film festival fresh in our minds, I think it's an ideal time to reopen a more basic discussion about the effectiveness of collecting a local hotel tax in the first place. Hotels are required to collect a 6% tax for the state, but municipalities have the OPTION to levy up to 7% more (see Sec. 351-002). Of course, we collect the maximum.
Out of one side of their faces, our fearless leaders talk about improving our economy, and out of the other side they support the 7% HOT and its arbitrary use on projects that generally only improve select segments of our economy. I'd prefer we not increase the cost of doing business in Victoria, which gets passed onto the local businesses who procure a traveling service, which gets passed onto local consumers (that's you, folks). It also takes spending money out of the pockets of the very recreational travelers we're enticing to come here. If you take a moment to visualize the flow of money (potential business capital) both with and without the HOT, you'll see it's completely counterintuitive and counterproductive to tax people to come here. Before we argue over how to spend this money to subsidize our low-paying service industry, let's first evaluate the rationale for extracting the money from the productive economy, which typically supports higher-paying jobs. Think about it — that money is being spent at a hotel because someone is productive enough to have earned it or a business is successful or adventurous enough to pay someone to come into town to provide a good or service. The HOT is nothing short of a penalty for being productive, and those funds are being spent on whimsical, superficial fluff. If we want to promote Victoria, let's do it ALL with voluntary donations/sponsorships from citizens and local companies. It's time to shut down the Legacy Fund and quit molesting the economy. BOOT THE HOTEL TAX!!!