Would New Hotel Tax Save Dallas From Making More Terrible Promotional Videos?

Categories: Biz, City Hall

convention_center_hotel_SBXLV.jpg
The next time Aaron Rodgers stays here, he could have to pay a hotel tax on his hotel tax.
Dallas has a knack for self-regard. Self-promotion? Not so much. The city's efforts at branding itself ("Live Large. Think Big.") are, well, embarrassing. We've had nothing with the catchiness, not to mention production values, of Las Vegas' "What happens here, stays here."

But Vegas has a slush fund of $95.5 million for selling itself, while Dallas spends a paltry $5.4 million per year, which is why, the Dallas Convention and Visitors and the Hotel Association of North Texas argue, the city needs about $10 million more.

The money would come through the formation of a Tourism Public Improvement District (basically a self-taxing nonprofit that reports to the city) that will be funded by a two-percent tax on hotel rooms in the city.

In a memo to the City Council, Ray Hammer, VP of the hotel group, outlined how the PID will work.

Roughly half of the $10 million will be used as incentive funding to lure more citywide conventions to Dallas. That means, from what I can glean from Hammer's note, that you pay convention organizers with the expectation that you will get it back and more through hotel stays of convention goers. When funding proposals, the PID will pay a maximum of $1 in incentives to $10 in guest room revenue.

Another chunk of funding, about $3 million, will fund a marketing campaign of cable spots, social media, targeted email blasts, and "non-conventional OOH." (What, you might ask, is OOH? I have know idea and have not yet heard back from Hammer.)

The final portion will go to fund tourism-boosting projects pitched by local organizations.

The proposal is obviously very good for hotels, which, according to Hammer's estimate, will see an additional $500 million in annual revenue. But, Hammer argues, it will also put an additional $35 million in the city's coffers and produce $500 million in additional consumer spending.

The city of Dallas will even get $700,000 per year, since its hotel occupancy tax will apply on the new 2-percent tax -- a tax on a tax.

Even if those estimates are on the high end, this seems like a pretty painless move. The extra surcharge isn't going to drive away any travelers and besides, I won't have to pay it because I live here. And if it will stop another one of those videos from coming into existence, I'm all for it.


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8 comments
RTGolden
RTGolden

I'm sure the Hotels in Irving, Arlington, Carrollton, Addison and other surrounding cities will be thrilled to see this go into effect.

Why have a convention in Dallas, where there's nothing to do outside the convention except eat, get drunk, go to the movies?  Conventions want to go where their participants are offered a multitude of activities outside the convention center (Vegas, Hawaii, Denver, San Fran, LA all offer a range of non-convention activities to attract convention goers).  Dallas has one potential draw, and they refuse to develop it.  Fair Park.  And strip clubs.  Now there is a convention draw... Fair(ly Naked) Park.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

I thought that Tom Leppert said that this would fly on it’s own!?!?!?!   Another tax?   Just the tip of the iceberg on what might turn out to be a failure (as was prophesied) just like all of those other city owned convention hotels (St. Louis, Denver, Houston).   A hotel that private sector would not build on it’s own.   A tax payer owned hotel.   And Tom is a Republi-can’t  ?!?!?!?   

Paul
Paul

Let's see ... we already have one of the highest MHT rates in the country and people are not coming because of it ... and now we want to add another tax ... and then tax the tax?

Now matter how hard you whip a dead horse, it still won't pull the plow.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

How else will the world know we build a bridge?

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Start showing off the topless joints again. Bidness will skyrocket.

Downtownworker
Downtownworker

OOH means "out of home" and includes things like billboards and supergraphics like the ones splattered all over downtown. 

Facebook User
Facebook User

Seems like a conflict of interest. The city built its own convention hotel and is free to spend as much or as little in marketing dollars. Why charge the Doubletree near North Park a 2% tax to pay to drive more convention/hotel business to the City's convention/hotel? Taxing private hotels to help drive business to the public hotel is plain wrong. Of course, the City argues that the private hotels will benefit from overflow - maybe. Wonder what the Doubletree could do with the extra 2%? I suspect they are pretty good at marketing...

Darren Schmits
Darren Schmits

You mean to tell me, building the Convention Center Hotel did not attract enough convention business to Dallas?

Amazeballs.

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