LA hoteliers push for lodging tax to promote tourism

LOS ANGELES Some hoteliers in America’s second-largest city are pushing local officials to enact a 1.5% lodging tax, with revenues to be used to promote Los Angeles as a global tourism destination.

The proposed 1.5% occupancy tax, which would only apply to hotels with at least 50 guestrooms, would raise an estimated US$10 million to US$11 million a year.

Los Angeles currently spends about US$11.4 million annually on tourism promotion. In contrast, nearby rival cities Las Vegas and San Diego spend US$71 million and US$24 million each year on tourism promotion.

The proposed tax requires the approval of the Los Angeles City Council, which is scheduled to take up the measure later this month.

Los Angeles already has a hotel occupancy tax of 14% in place. The proposed tax would be in addition to the existing assessment.