Roswell plans to raise its hotel-motel tax to the maximum rate allowed.
The City Council voted unanimously Jan. 28 to ask the General Assembly for the change, said Roswell’s finance director Ryan Luckett. State law governs hotel-motel taxes, so any adjustment must be authorized by legislators.
The agenda item on the local effort reads: “This increase will provide additional resources to invest in City services, projects, and tourism promotion while lessening the reliance upon residential property taxes.”
Luckett said the increase from the current 6 percent to the proposed 8 percent would mean an extra $350,000 per year coming to the city. When the four hotels under construction or in planning open, Luckett said, it could mean an extra annual $1.4 million, which would bring the amount collected to $2.5 million.
Luckett said 37.5 percent of the revenue would be allocated to the general fund, 43.75 percent to the tourism board and 18.75 percent toward tourism product development like signs and museums.
He said the increase would put Roswell’s hotel tax in line with nearby municipalities. Alpharetta, Atlanta, Cobb County, Dunwoody, Gwinnett County, Marietta and Woodstock are all at the maximum 8 percent. He said Johns Creek and Sandy Springs are at 7 percent and rural Milton sits at 3 percent.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution analyzed data from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs from August 2018 showing the hotel-motel tax rates of 275 municipalities. Seventy-one governments levy an 8 percent tax, 23 use 7 percent, 27 tax hotel stays at 6 percent, 129 collect 5 percent, none use 4 percent, 24 have a 3 percent tax, a single city sits at 2 percent and none have a 1 percent hotel-motel tax.
If the General Assembly approves Roswell’s increase and the governor signs it, the City Council would then have to vote on revising the ordinance.
Luckett said he hopes this can all be done during the Legislature’s session.
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