Would a 2% increase in a Transient Room Tax (TRT), that visitors pay for lodging, scare people away?
That is the question Bend City Councilors contemplated in their work session Wednesday night.
Councilor Mark Capell is in favor of the increase because it could give more marketing opportunities. "I'm a believer in marketing. So I have a tendency to think that if we're going to market a little over a half a million dollars more in say, Seattle and San Francisco, we're going to bring a lot more people to bend than pay any attention to the transient room tax."
Ben Perle from the Oxford Hotel and Matt Williams, who owns a hotel management company, spoke on behalf of the proposal saying a 2% increase would generate about $850,000 a year for the City of Bend and Visit Bend marketing.
Any increase in the Transient Room Tax must come before voters and the Councilors decided that they will hear and make a decision on if they want to put the proposal on the May ballot at the next City Council meeting.