Support the Bend Tourism, Arts & Public Safety Initiative
The Bend Tourism, Arts & Public Safety Initiative is a collection of local business, arts, and public safety advocates supporting Measure 9-94, a measure on the November ballot to increase Bend’s hotel tax rate (TRT) from the current rate of 9% to a new rate of 10.4%. Measure 9-94 is separate from the proposed Deschutes County hotel tax increase (measure 9-96) which only applies to hotels in the unincorporated areas of Deschutes County.
Bend’s current TRT rate of 9% (plus an additional 1% for state tax) is lower than many similar cities and tourism destinations. By comparison, other destinations’ combined lodging taxes and fees include Spokane (14%), Boise (13%), Boulder (12.3%), Santa Barbara (12%), Portland (14.5%), Seattle (17.6%), South Lake Tahoe (15%), Santa Fe (15.19%), and San Luis Obispo (12%). The chart below reflects additional comparisons.
By leaving Bend’s TRT rate below industry standard, our city is missing the opportunity to reinvest critical economic development, cultural, and public safety dollars into our community. If approved by Bend’s voters, this increased tax on overnight visitors will benefit virtually every segment of our community.
Public Safety: 30% of the revenue raised by this measure (approximately $200,000 annually), will be allocated to Bend’s police and fire departments to mitigate the city’s public safety funding shortfall and help ensure Bend’s police and fire departments can meet the demands of our growing population of visitors and residents.
Economic Development: Approximately $300,000 annually will be allocated to economic development through the promotion of tourism. Specifically, these funds will be used to expand Bend’s tourism marketing reach into Seattle and northern California. This expansion of tourism marketing is estimated to generate an additional $42 million of tourist spending annually at Central Oregon businesses.
Cultural Tourism Fund: The remaining $150,000 generated annually by this measure will further enhance Bend’s economy by establishing a long-term source of funding for the arts through a cultural tourism trust. In addition to enhancing Bend’s quality of life, Bend’s arts and cultural assets are critical to diversifying our community’s tourism offerings and attracting new visitors, residents, and jobs.
Tourism feeds every segment of Bend’s economy. If approved, this measure will enhance Bend’s economy and substantially improve our community – benefiting locals and visitors alike.
Over the next 10 years, this initiative will generate approximately $2.4 million for Bend’s police and fire departments, $3.8 million for economic development through the promotion of tourism, and $1.8 million for the arts through the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund - AT NO COST TO LOCAL RESIDENTS. Click here to see the 10 year TRT revenue projections.
Every dollar the City of Bend allocates to the promotion of tourism, public safety, and the cultivation of the arts impacts our community in a very positive way. We believe it is time for Bend to take this important step in the evolution of our great city.
Click here to learn more about this important community initiative.
Bend’s Lodging Taxes and Fees are Lower Than Many Similar Cities and Tourism Destinations, Including Those Close To Home Like Black Butte Ranch, Seventh Mountain Resort, Eagle Crest Resort, and Sunriver.
*indicates that applicable flat dollar amount per night fee has been applied to percentage
Several of Bend’s political, business and arts leaders support this measure. See why by watching the commercial below.
More of a radio person? Listen to our radio advertisement here.