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Where is the District Hotel Tax Going

Guest Jesse

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Guest Bloomingdale Resident

It is 14.5%. Here you go.


Destination DC is a private, non-profit corporation with a membership of more than 1,000 businesses and organizations that support the DC travel and tourism sector. A contracting arm of the Washington Convention Center Authority, the organization is funded by a percentage of DC’s hotel occupancy tax, along with membership dues and co-operative marketing fees.




I think they do an outstanding job of promoting our city.

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For the 3-month period ending in April 2010, the average room-rate for hotels was 2.4 percent higher than for the same period in 2009, while the number of hotel room-days sold was up 3.8 percent. Revenues from room sales were up 6.3 percent.


Sales and Use Taxes


In FY 2009, $973.4 million was collected before dedicated distributions, a 4.1 percent contraction from FY 2008. One of the primary drivers of the sales tax, personal income, fell by almost 1 percent in FY 2009 for the only time in the history of the data going back to 1969.


The national economy has also impacted tourism in the District, which contributed to the decline.


Forty-eight percent of the sales tax revenue comes from hotels, restaurants and bars.


In FY 2010, sales tax revenue is expected to rebound though not as vigorously as in past recessions.


Growth of 4.2 percent to $1.0 billion is being driven by an increase in the general sales tax to 6 percent and a recovering economy.


Growth in FY11 and FY12 will be below the long term average of 6.5 percent, averaging

less than 4 percent. The increase in the general sales tax rate expires in FY13 and reverts back to 5.75 percent, slowing growth to 3 percent.


Transfer to Convention Center Fund


The formula financing the Convention Center Fund includes only sales tax revenue from hotels, restaurants, rental vehicles, and sale of prepaid phone cards.


The hotel tax rate is 14.5 percent— a 4.45 percent rate dedicated to the Convention Center Fund and a 10.05 percent rate to the District’s General Fund.


The 10 percent sales tax rate applies mainly to restaurants but also includes rental cars, prepaid telephone cards, tickets sold for baseball games, merchandise at the baseball stadium,

tickets sold for events at the Verizon Center and merchandise at the Verizon Center.


Of sales taxed at the 10 percent rate, 1 percent is dedicated to the Convention Center Fund and a 9 percent rate to the General Fund.


The Convention Center Transfer Fund. This fund records the transfer of certain sales tax revenues from the District’s General Fund to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Authority.


This makes visible the flow of dedicated revenues through the General Fund. The funds are not new, but the presentation is new starting in FY 2010.


Download the PDF

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gray said today he's aiming for a gimmickless budget. But there are some definite detours into gimmickry. For instance: Having the Washington Sports and Convention Authority pay the city $5 million to lease the Carnegie Library, across the street from the convention center.




Why is the Destination DC illegally taking over the lease? What happens to the Historical Society of Washington DC? They already paid for the lease. Vince Gray is not what I thought he was.


Carnegie Library was a place where great African American cultural events could be found. Now it is going to be another tourist trap.

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