Increased Lodging Tax to Raise $5 Million for Mayo Civic Center

Posted at: 08/20/2013 10:50 PM
Updated at: 08/20/2013 10:51 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The Mayo Civic Center will begin to look a little different starting next summer.
A lodging tax increase is set to fund $5 million in renovations. Currently, the lodging tax is at 4 percent, rather low for a city of Rochester's size. Starting in January, the number will almost double to 7%.
"I think we've done our homework. We were one of the lowest of comparable cities, now we're in the middle," said hotel owner Dan Nelson. "I think people have come to expect it."  
He says readjusting rates may come as a compromise. 
"We gotta watch that we don't go up too much in conjunction with the tax," said Nelson.
Businesses outside of the hospitality industry don't feel they'll cut back on spending when passing through town.
"I don't think it'll affect us," said business owner Tim Berg.
What we did here is that fixing the civic center is a good thing.
"It's overdue and needed," said Berg
Those behind the new lodging tax say it fits with the growth of the city. 
"We feel that it's somewhere around 9 or 10 percent where the consumer starts to look at that and question that and make decisions based on that," said Brad Jones of the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau.