Lawton voters to consider new hotel-motel tax Feb. 9 | News |

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Partly cloudy. As low as 30F. The speed is 5 to 10 mph.

Lawton residents will have the opportunity to set a new and higher hotel-motel tax on February 9, but this is a decision that will not affect them.

The hotel and motel tax was first established 30 years ago as the cost of renting out hotels and motels in Lawton. However, the law of the City of Lawton, which sets taxes, specifically exempts residents of Lawton from fees. This is a decision made by city leaders several years ago, who argued that the benefit of the tax is that tourists pay for their place of residence in support of plans to make Lawton better. .

The vote proposes to set a new tax from May 1 (the existing five-year tax expires on April 30), but it will also increase the current 5.5% tax to 7%. It also levied the current 5-year tax and extended it to April 30, 2031. This is the second time the tax period exceeds 5 years. Voter approval means that taxation continues uninterrupted; beginning May 1, rejection will cancel the taxation.

According to the definition of the ballot paper and the standard city ordinance, the income generated by the tax must be put into a special fund designed by the City of Lawton, and then used annually to “Encourage, Promote, and Promote Convention, Tourism, Since 1986 should Lawton Ford West Taxation has been restricted since the request of the Chamber of Commerce in Seoul to establish a tax.

This year’s proposal contains another new provision: extending taxes to Airbnb and similar rental locations.

The regulation is now officially designated as the hotel/temporary guest tax regulation, which adds a new category of operators: individuals or entities that charge fees for staying or charge room usage fees or commissions. Ward 4 Councilman Jay Burk said that the name will enable the city to start taxing rents from companies such as Airbnb and VRBO, which is becoming increasingly popular in communities across the country, including Lawton. Currently, the tax is limited to hotel and motel rooms.

The definition of a hotel has been expanded to include holiday homes, temporary guest houses, tourist houses, houses or courts, guest rooms, accommodation and breakfast places, trailer rooms and dormitory spaces where beds are rented out to individuals or groups.

The decree stipulates that taxes should only be levied on people who do not live in Tirudon. Lawton residents are excluded, as are residents who work in the U.S. government or any of its agencies or departments, and Oklahoma and any of its political branches. City officials said this would include military personnel in Lawton under military orders.

In the past few years, the annual tax of 5.5% has generated approximately $1.2 million. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel and tourism (including hotel occupancy rates), city officials have cut this estimate in half for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

According to the appropriation formula established by the City Council, 70% of the tax revenue is allocated to the Chamber of Commerce and the Lawton Economic Development Corporation (this proportion is reduced to 60% this fiscal year). The rest is allocated to the other three regions: tourism accounted for 14% (18% this year), the city’s economic development fund accounted for 11% (15% this year), and the Lawton Enhanced Trust Authority accounted for 5% (7% this year) . .

Every time the hotel and motel tax is put to a vote, it has been approved by voters. Except for the 10-year tax approved by voters in 2006, it has a 5-year tax for most of its life. This tax is replaced by the current 5-year tax.

The hotel-motel tax distribution from 2020 to 2021, based on estimated revenue of $600,000:

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