Tag: lodging tax

Birmingham Council Increases Lodging Tax to Fund Tourism Efforts

Despite warnings that doing so might backfire, the Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to increase the city’s lodging tax.

The ordinance, which drew fierce criticism from local hoteliers, adds a $3 per night, per room surcharge to the city’s lodging tax code. The revenue generated by that surcharge is to be allocated “exclusively for sports and entertainment recruitment and development, tourism and infrastructure improvements.”

That surcharge is in addition to the city’s current 17.5% lodging tax rate, which is above the national average of 13.4%.

The ordinance was proposed — and at times angrily defended — by Council President Pro Tempore William Parker, who said the increase would add $4 million in annual revenue. Parker argued that this extra money would make the city “more competitive” in recruiting sporting events, which would in turn increase the city’s tourism. Read more.