Starting Jan. 1, hotels and motels in Columba began collecting an extra 1 percent in their lodging tax to pay for renovations at the Columbia Regional Airport.
City leaders projected the tax would raise about $10 million dollars in the next two decades.
Lodging tax revenue numbers ABC17 News obtained from the city’s finance department show that $141,476.75 was collected in revenue for January 2016. In 2017, the city collected $172,165.55 in revenue. According to the department, about $4,841.85 was paid under protest in 2017.
The lodging tax increase from January 2016 to January 2017 shows about a 22 percent increase in payments after the 1 percent increase went into effect on Jan. 1.
The finance department said Tuesday it’s already working to put together lodging tax revenue collected from 2010 to 2016, but ABC17 News also requested a month by month total of tax revenue collected in 2016 to provide a basis for projecting how long it could take to collect the $10 million city leaders are expecting.
Only the 1 percent increase will be used to pay for the airport renovations, so assuming there is a 22 percent increase for each month (January comes out to about $30,000 extra) and the city collects about $140,000 in hotel tax a month (some months could show more revenue than others with more reservations, such as October for MU’s Homecoming), the $10 million needed could be collected in about 28 years. In 23 years, the city could collect about $8.2 million.
The tax is expected to sunset in 23 years. The finance department is working to put together the tax revenue month-by-month from January and ABC17 News will update the projections when those numbers are ready.
The lodging tax payments for February 2017 aren’t due until March 20.