With the passage of HB 4146, Travel Oregon has increased funding to regional tourism programs and made more money available for grants that increase economic development through tourism.
Oregon travel boom pushes lodging tax to new heights (infographic)
It’s been around 13 years since Oregon lawmakers created the stand-alone Oregon Tourism Commission and, with it, launched a statewide 1 percent tax on lodging intended to fund the commission.
As the graphic above shows, state lodging tax receipts hit a new peak last year, reaching $17.8 million, a nearly 15 percent increase from the prior year. Nearly 53 percent comes from hotel visitors in the state, and the Portland metro area generated the lion’s share of those taxes: $7.4 million, or 42 percent of the total.
The figure is only going to keep rising.
The Legislature earlier this year passed HB 4146, which as of July 1 increased the lodging tax rate from 1 percent to 1.8 percent, where it will stay for four years before decreasing to 1.5 percent.
With more revenue coming in, the bill also changed how Travel Oregon can spend the revenue. The amount it spends on statewide tourism programs will shrink from 80 percent of the total to 65 percent, while investments in regional tourism programs will increase from 15 percent to 20 percent. Travel Oregon will also put 10 percent toward a competitive grant program designed to help improve the economies of Oregon communities by improving and promoting the tourism industry.
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