Voters in Deschutes County have approved a pair of measures increasing the tax paid by people staying in hotel rooms, and other temporary lodging. Preliminary counts show both measures passing with more than 60 percent of the vote.
9-96 Deschutes County Transient Room Tax
Yes 20,752 (61.31%)
No 13,098 (38.69%)
9-94 City of Bend Temporary Lodging Tax
Yes 10,175 (62.42%)
No 6,125 (37.58%)
Unofficial Results for 11/5/2013 - Special Election Last Updated: 11/5/2013 11:48 PM50 of 50 Precincts ReportingVoter Turnout: 33,920 of 96,920 - (35.00%)
Courtesy Deschutes County elections website.
The first measure raises the transient room tax in the unincorporated parts of Deschutes County from 7 percent to 8 percent. It's expected to raise more than a half million dollars annually.
By law, most of that will be used to promote tourism. The rest will be used to fund county services.
The second measure deals just with Bend. It raises the city's room tax rate incrementally. First from 9 percent to 10 percent in June. Then by another 0.4 percent in the summer of 2015.
The 1.4 percent increase is expected to raise an additional $400,000 dollars a year. Again, most of that will be used to promote tourism.
In Bend's case, the money will be used to launch ad campaigns outside Oregon and to establish a cultural tourism fund. The increase is also expected to boost funding for police and fire services by about $175,000 dollars a year.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.