City Council Establishes New Six-percent Hotel Tax

March 28, 2014
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The Everett City Council voted overwhelmingly Monday night to accept the recommendation of its subcommittee on Community and Business Development and adopt a six-percent room occupancy excise, or hotel tax, on all hotel and lodging rooms in the city.

City Councilor Stephen Simonelli was curiously the only member of the Council who did not vote in favor of this revenue generating vehicle, despite the fact that the new tax would not be charged to Everett residents, unless they stay in a local hotel room.

An analysis of the new hotel tax rate, completed for the City Council by the Mayor’s office shows that at the least, the new tax rate could help to raise as much as $78,224 annually, just from the taxes that would be charged at rooming and boarding houses around the city.

Those estimates were based on an assumption of 11 licensed lodging houses in the city with a total of 230 rooms, which rent for an average rate of $15.53 per day.

According to Assistant City Solicitor David Rodrigues, not all of the city’s approximately 14 lodging houses would be subject to the new tax rate, as several of the lodging houses are owned by non-profit or religious organizations.

If the city’s casino proposal is granted a state gaming license by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission later this summer, that figure could soar to more than $2.32 million based on the proposed 500-room resort hotel proposed for the property on Lower Broadway.

There was little discussion of the proposed new hotel tax rate during the Council meeting, no members of the public got up to speak out against the hotel tax.