Proposal would raise Louisville's hotel tax by 1% - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Proposal would raise Louisville's hotel tax by 1%

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Louisville’s hotel room tax would increase by 1 percent to fund upgrades at the downtown convention center under a plan that Metro Council will debate this month.

The proposal calls for increasing the room tax at all Jefferson County hotels to 9.5 percent from 8.5 percent. The additional tax money would partially fund the expansion and renovation of the aging Kentucky International Convention Center.

“This expansion is crucial to all of the new hotel development happening in downtown Louisville,” Karen Williams, chief executive officer of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in a statement.

Louisville could attract up to 25 percent more convention business with a larger convention center, Williams said.

State lawmakers allowed the tax increase with a bill approved during the 2014 legislative session, while the state also agreed to borrow $56 million to support the construction project.

If lawmakers approve the increase, Louisville’s occupancy rate, which includes a room tax, state sales tax, and an adjustable sales tax only on hotels, would rank in the middle of the pack among peer cities, according to data provided by the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Louisville’s 16.07 percent proposed rate would be higher than Dallas, Nashville and Charlotte, but lower than Houston, Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

Metro Council members will introduce the proposed ordinance at a Thursday meeting, and it will go before committee July 17.

The full Council could approve it as early as July 24, meaning the tax increase could begin Aug 1.

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