Lincoln City is a popular destination for people visiting the Oregon Coast. The city potentially increases its tax on hot"> Lincoln City is a popular destination for people visiting the Oregon Coast. The city potentially increases its tax on hot">

Lincoln City voters will decide whether to raise the lodging tax

Lincoln City voters will decide in November whether to raise the city’s lodging tax.

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Lincoln City is a popular destination for people visiting the Oregon Coast. The city potentially increases its tax on hotels and other types of accommodation.

Chris Lehman/KLCC

The hotel, bed and breakfast and vacation rental tax would rise from 9.5% to 12% under the proposal. That rate would be nearly double what Lincoln City was charging when the lodging tax was first approved by voters in 1991. But that would put it on par with other Lincoln County beach destinations such as Newport. and Depoe Bay. Both of these cities have increased their lodging tax over the past year, though both did so via a city council vote rather than leaving the decision up to voters.

Lincoln City councilors decided to put the tax hike on the ballot at a meeting in mid-August. Some council members objected, saying the public and the business community were not involved in the conversation.

But council member Mitch Parsons said that was why the proposal was going to voters. “Putting that on the ballot and getting the people to vote is probably the biggest public implication we can get out of it,” he said.

The city estimates the higher tax would bring in an additional $2.7 million per year. Under state law, the majority of revenue from a “transient lodging tax” must be used either to promote tourism or to make improvements to facilities that serve tourists.

According to an explanatory statement filed in the Lincoln County voters pamphlet, a portion of the money raised from the higher lodging tax will go toward building a new visitor center in D River.

The city is proposing to use the remaining money to fund “essential city services, such as narcotics enforcement,” according to the council-approved resolution that created the ballot measure.

“Visitors, who place an additional demand on these municipal services, should be required to pay a share of the services,” the resolution reads.

The council voted 4 to 2 to put the tax increase on the ballot. A member who voted against the resolution, Rick Mark, said he would have supported a lesser increase.

“I think ten and a half would fly a lot easier than 12%,” he said. “And I think (it would) be a lot easier for us to justify.”

In addition to the rate imposed by cities or counties, the state of Oregon also levies a 1.5% lodging tax.

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