Chamblee, GA, January 19, 2017 – by Anna Williams for The Post – For the third straight year, the City of Chamblee is asking the DeKalb Legislative Delegation seek Legislative approval of a local act authorizing the City to increase its Hotel/Motel Tax from 5 percent to 8 percent. The last two times the City has asked for this, there was no action by the Legislature, according to Mayor Eric Clarkson.
State law allows local governments to increase their Hotel/Motel Taxes up to 8 percent with the approval of the Georgia Legislature pursuant to a local act. The additional 3 percent tax levied would be required to be split 50/50 with half being expended for promoting tourism, conventions, and trade shows by the destination marketing organization designated by the municipality levying the tax, and the other half expended by the City for “tourism product development.”
The City splits the revenue 60/40 with the DeKalb Convention & Visitors’ Bureau (aka Discover DeKalb). The additional revenue from increasing the tax would be split 50/50 with Discover DeKalb and the City. According to Chamblee, in 2017, multiple DeKalb County cities intend to increase their Hotel/Motel Tax rate to 8%, which is what DeKalb County currently levies.
Chamblee’s FY2017 budget projects total Hotel/Motel Tax revenue at $390,000. Under the existing arrangement, 60% of that revenue – or $234,000 – goes to the City’s General Fund; and 40% – or $156,000 – goes to Discover DeKalb. Using current projections, the additional revenue from increasing to 8 percent equals $234,000, half of which ($117,000) must go to Discover DeKalb. The other half ($117,000) would go to the City to be spent on “tourism product development.” These new revenues could fund existing or planned projects that would increase tourism and enhance.
The Hotel/Motel Tax is collected on charges made for rooms, lodging or accommodations furnished by hotels, motels, inns, lodges, tourist camps or campgrounds.