Long-Delayed Taxing District to Boost Tourism in Tulsa Still in the Works

Jun 14, 2018

It’s taking longer than anticipated to set up a citywide special taxing district to lure more tourists to Tulsa.

April 2017 was the original target for the tourism improvement district. Initial plans called for a 2.5 percent room tax on hotels with 50 rooms or more. That revenue would go toward marketing efforts like advertisements or conference attendance to boost tourism.

Before it goes to the city council for approval, the proposal needs support from a simple majority of those affected, which is around 100.

"We’re at 40 or so percent right now, and we’re working with individual hotels to get them to endorse it," said VisitTulsa President Ray Hoyt.

Hoyt said VisitTulsa has negotiated "back and forth" with some of Tulsa's independent hoteliers, and he expects the tourism improvement district will be brought to councilors in the near future.

State lawmakers approved such districts in 2016.