Photo by Katie Turpen.
Hoover City Council
The city portion of the tax for staying in Hoover hotels and motels could soon double.
The Hoover City Council on Monday will consider a proposal from Mayor Gary Ivey to raise the city's lodging tax rate from 3 percent to 6 percent, according to the agenda for the council meeting set for 6 p.m. July 6.
Including the 4 percent the State of Alabama receives from the city lodging tax and 7 percent both Jefferson and Shelby Counties receive, that would increase the total lodging tax in Hoover from 14 percent to 17 percent.
Hoover's 3 percent lodging tax generates about $1.5 million a year, so the boost to 6 percent would double that revenue. The city would use the extra lodging tax revenue to fund Hoover various capital projects and debt service.
The Monday, July 6 council meeting will be the first reading. If approved, a second reading and final vote would take place during the July 20 council meeting two weeks later.
The tax would go into effect in October 2015. If approved, Hoover's 6 percent lodging tax would still be equal to or lower than most Birmingham area cities, said Hoover City Councilman John Lyda.
"This has been talked about for years," Lyda said. "If we were to go in this direction, our lodging tax would still be in line with other area cities."
Birmingham boosted its lodging tax to 6.5 percent tax in 2010 to help fund the building of Regions Field baseball stadium downtown to attract the Birmingham Barons from the Hoover Met.
Homewood, Leeds and Bessemer all have a 6 percent lodging tax, while Irondale's is 7 percent and Fultondale's lodging tax is 9 percent.
However, Hoover's lodging tax rate would be double the 3 percent current lodging tax in neighboring cities Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills.
Lyda said if Hoover's lodging tax is increased, he hopes a portion of the extra revenue will be set aside for public parks and recreational activities. He cited the city's pending purchase of the Old Berry High School property on Columbiana Road as an example. That transaction, delayed by questions by the U.S. Department of Justice, would include using the campus stadium for public sports activities including soccer and lacrosse.
"If the Berry High School purchase goes through, this would provide a revenue stream to do those recreational improvements," Lyda said.