COOS COUNTY — The Coos Bay-North Bend Visitor Conventions Bureau is working to raise the lodging taxes for the Bay Area from 7 percent to 9.5.
According to VCB Director Janice Langlinais, the Bay Area has one of lowest hotel and motel lodging taxes on the Oregon Coast. Asking the Bay Area municipalities to raise the lodging taxes is an effort of the VCB to put Coos Bay and North Bend on track with its competitors along the coast and put more funding into tourism.
“I have done a competitive analysis. One of the things we wanted to prove or show is how far below our competitors along the coast we currently are,” Langlinais said.
Currently the VCB receives $440,000 annual in funding from the Coos Bay and North Bend lodging tax. According to Langlinais, competitors along the coast spend significantly more. Her competitive analysis showing Lincoln City spending $2.2 million and Newport spending $630,000 on tourism. Both of those examples have a 9.5 percent lodging tax.
Seventy percent of revenue gained by the potential tax increase would go toward funding the VCB and tourism promotion. If North Bend and Coos Bay were to pass the 2.5 percent tax increase it would increase the budget of the VCB by approximately $208,000 per year. If the Coquille Tribe also approved the tax, it would then raise the VCB’s budget by close to $300,000, which is close to double its current budget.
The VCB has the support of almost all the local hotels and motels, and in turn the support of Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association.
“The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association is supportive of it largely because the lodging industry here is supportive of it,” Lanlinais said.
It is important to note that lodging taxes are not a tax on the citizens of the area, but a tax placed on the price of renting a hotel or motel room.
North Bend has tabled the decision on raising its lodging tax until its next council meeting. Coos Bay is also scheduled to vote on the increase at its next council meeting. Preliminary talks with the Coquille Tribe suggest that it would be potentially interested in joining in on the 2.5 percent increase as long as Coos Bay and North Bend both agree to it.