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Scottsdale voters pass bed-tax increase

Written by Matt Hendley Subject: Arizona's Top News

By Matt Hendley

            Scottsdale voters approved a two-point increase in the transient lodging tax Tuesday, according to unofficial results from the city clerk.

            Proposition 200 raises the tax on gross income paid by hotels from 3 to 5 percent, and increases the hotel check-out rate from 11.92 percent to 13.92 percent. The tax revenue will be used for destination marketing and tourism-related construction projects.

            “Nature gave us sunshine, warm weather, and the incredible Sonoran Desert,” Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said. “It’s up to us to build on that foundation.”

            The original bed tax required 80 percent of the revenue to be applied toward hospitality development and destination marketing, and did not designate the other 20 percent. The amended code will dedicate 50 percent of revenue to destination marketing and the other 50 percent to tourism-related construction projects.

            Jesse Thompson, director of sales and marketing for Hotel Valley Ho, said the new tax will not have any effect on Scottsdale residents, but will have a large effect on advertising.

            “We’ve already felt the impacts of budget decreases over the last 12 months,” Thompson said. “If we want to keep up with other cities like Palm Springs, the industry needs this funding.”

Some Scottsdale residents, such as museum director Michael Fox, are depending on the tax revenue to fund start-up construction projects. Fox is expecting $7 million of city funds in addition to $53 million of private investment to build the Scottsdale Museum of the West, a 45,000-square-foot museum in downtown Scottsdale, according to the city Web site.

            “The revenue will enhance the opportunity for visitors and residents to benefit from arts and culture in the community,” Fox said in a telephone interview. “This tax could very well help move us along.”

            More than 56 percent of the 24,403 votes counted between early ballots and poll sites Tuesday night were in favor of Proposition 200, which will likely go into effect July 1, 2010.

            Propositions 100 to 104, which make procedural changes to the city charter, all passed overwhelmingly according to the unofficial results.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Alice Lillie
Entered on:

 This is a travesty. Now I realize this is in *Scottsdale,* not *Phoenix.*

Phoenix requires hotels to make photocopies of customer I.D.'s/drivers licenses and these copies go to the police. This is against the spirit if not the letter of the Fourth Amendment. I am never going to stay in a motel in Phoenix again until that stops.

As for Scottsdale, the same thing may be going on and now there is an addition to the room tax which will finance an effort to get people to come there and then be forced to submit to the I.D. situation.

Well, *don't go.*

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

I could have told you this yesterday.