County Leaders May Extend the Bed Tax Through 2034

We'll surely be hearing more about the county's bed tax - which sounds more pleasant than the sin tax - next week as C. Ellen Connally and Co. gather to discuss its potential extension.

In 1993, Cuyahoga County levied a "bed tax"/"hotel tax" on hotel transactions to pay off the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Our favorite tourism landmark will finally be paid off by the end of summer, so, naturally, local leaders are hoping to extend the tax through, say, 2034.

And, oh, look, indeed! County Council is debating a measure that will extend one third of the 4.5 percent excise tax, from which the county is garnering some $5 million annually as of right now. (You can read the full ordinance below.)

Aside from funding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which wheels its aged legs around to Cleveland only once every three years, the rest of this tax extension is currently flagged for, like, whatever. You know, the main thing happening around Cleveland right now is this vague sense of boosterish pride and RNC-cited economic development. Given that, tax extensions are just part and parcel, as Positively Cleveland's Dave Gilbert and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald have intimated.

The ordinance specifically cites Positively Cleveland as a conduit for this tax extension and lists "the support of tourism" as a primary reason for going ahead with this. Of course, riding the waves of the RNC announcement, there's sure to be plenty of talk of conventions and their required luring.

In all, the vagueness is mostly par for the course around here. One upshot to this extension is that it's funded mostly by tourists anyway, so they'll be chipping into their own trough, as it were.

County Council's Hotel Tax Extension Ordinance by sandyatscene

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Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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