Philadelphia hotel tax could be going up

It could cost a little more for visitors to stay in Philadelphia if a City Council plan to increase the hospitality tax on hotel rooms finds traction.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown wants to hike the hotel tax by 0.3 percent and send the extra money to the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation.

“The tourism industry in this town is superb in that it equals 52,000 jobs in Philadelphia and 88,000 for the region,” Reynolds Brown said Thursday. “Further, when our city agencies like GPTMC spend $1 on marketing, it equals $100 spent by visitors.”

Reynolds Brown said the increase would add less than $1 to a typical hotel room bill and would help make up for lost state funding.

“We are at a very, very different place,” she said. “When it comes to funding for the commonwealth, it’s dropped down to $180,000, so we want to raise [the tax] to 1.5 percent, which amounts to 50 cents for every visitor that now comes to Philadelphia.”

If enacted, the increase could generate about $2 million a year.

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