Cuyahoga County Council is weighing whether to extend a hotel bed tax and hand the proceeds over to Northeast Ohio’s tourism bureau. ideastream’s Nick Castele reports.
Update: Council decided Tuesday night to put a 40-year extension on the agenda for a vote at its August meeting.
Cuyahoga County first levied this tax more than 20 years ago. It adds one-and-a-half percent to the cost of a hotel room in the county – that money paid off the debt from building the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
With the Rock Hall nearly paid off, the proposal is that this money would now go to Positively Cleveland instead.
CEO David Gilbert told council the funds would help Positively Cleveland free up money for marketing and for bringing the Rock Hall induction ceremony to Cleveland every three years. The legislation also says money could go to a major political convention.
The change needs an OK from county council, the mayor of Cleveland and a majority of the mayors or city managers of Cuyahoga County’s suburbs.
In a hearing on Monday, there didn’t seem to be much question whether the tax would pass. Council members debated whether the tax should live for another 20 years – or another 40.
Council is expected to revisit this question tonight. It’s set to make a final decision at its meeting Aug. 12.