Friday, June 11, 2010

Avoiding the three letter "t" word in Ontario hotels

Cities that market themselves as travel destinations have to maintain a fine balancing act. The purpose of the marketing is to make money, but at the same time you want the destination to be attractive.

Of course, when you make money, you have to determine whether it's more important for city businesses to make money, or the city government to make money. The cities themselves can make a case for the latter, saying that the income is not only needed to continue to promote the city, but is also needed to maintain all of the services that the visitors and the residents require.

And when you're in a recession, everybody loses. In the case of Ontario, the city lost 27% of the revenue that it gets from its transient occupancy t - wait, I'd better not say that three letter "t" word.

As a result, the city of Ontario has increased its transient know...rate from 11.75% to 12.75%. It is expected that this will result in a $680,000 revenue increase.

As for my reluctance to use the t-word, I'm taking this from Councilman Alan Wapner:

"I don't see the TOT as a tax as much as a user fee, and, right now, we don't have as much users as we use to," Councilman Alan Wapner said.

However, this isn't a case in which you'll have to pay the tax, whether you like it or not. No, this will have to be voted upon by the people on November 2. Unfortunately, according to Liset Marquez, the vote itself will add $125,000 to election costs.

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