Counties see hotel tax as win-win

Central Indiana counties that charge a tax on hotel and motel stays are experiencing rising hotel occupancy rates, even higher innkeeper’s tax collections and survey results that show advertising brings in visitors.

Innkeeper’s taxes raise about $700,000 per year in Brown County and more than $40 million in Marion County. That money goes back into marketing by local visitor and tourism centers and helps promote businesses, such as convention centers, hotels, restaurants and wineries, which generate as much as $4.4 billion annually in Indianapolis.

Johnson County Council members will vote Monday — on whether to adopt a 5 percent innkeeper’s tax. That tax is an additional charge on guests’ bill at hotels, motels or bed-and-breakfasts. The money can be used to fund a visitor and tourism bureau, which would market county attractions, events and businesses.

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