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City Council Begins Process To Start Collections From Citywide Tourism Improvement District

The process to start collecting a 3% assessment on certain hotels across the city is before the Tulsa City Council.

Councilors approved a resolution Wednesday telling the city to file an assessment roll for the Tourism Improvement District and set a July 21 public hearing on the matter. The assessment applies to hotels with 110 rooms or more, and funds will go toward marketing efforts that should help them attract business.

City Chief Operating Officer Jack Blair told councilors while a legal fight over the TID was settled in April, something else got in the way of setting an effective date to start collections.

"Based on the complications we've had with ransomware, we've moved that to Aug. 1," Blair said.

The city created the improvement district in 2018 and was sued later that year by a local hotel owner. The case reached the Oklahoma Supreme Court before the city eventually prevailed earlier this year.

Tulsa Regional Tourism President Ray Hoyt said after a Tulsa County district judge ruled for the city in April that the improvement district is a tool to help in a very competitive tourism industry.

"And it just puts us — gives us the opportunity to compete and get these hotels direct benefit from their assessment and drive market share," Hoyt said.

According to city filings, there are 33 hotels with at least 110 rooms. Estimates before the pandemic projected the assessment would generate up to $4 million a year.

Image by Olya Adamovich from Pixabay.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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