Decatur’s commission recently approved increasing the city’s hotel/motel tax from 7 to 8 percent, effective Oct. 1. This is an update of the hotel/motel tax ordinance from 1988, when the Holiday Inn (now the Courtyard By Marriott) was built.
The timing of the increase is partly because Decatur opened a visitor’s center about five years ago in response to the city becoming more of a regional tourist destination. Also, DeKalb County and three of its cities, Brookhaven, Chamblee and Dunwoody increased their hotel/motel tax in the past year.
Further the city now has three hotels, but a fourth, the 145-room Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton (next door to the Marriott) is scheduled to debut in January.
City Manager Peggy Merriss said the city has never crafted a hotel construction plan, nor has it ever put a cap on the number of hotels, though she added, “there is potential to build more.”
With the new tax 8 cents is added to every hotel/motel dollar spent. Three cents goes to the city’s general fund, 3.5 cents goes to the Decatur Tourism Bureau (which gets the largest increase, up from 2 cents) and 1.5 cents to maintenance of the Decatur Conference Center.