Hotel Tax Collections Dipped Last Year

Hotel Tax Collections Dipped Last Year

Based on data from the Allegheny County Treasurer’s Office, the 7% hotel/motel tax raised $34.009 million in 2017, about $450k less than what was collected in 2016.  The tax is levied on hotel/motel stays in the County and is distributed to a variety of purposes stipulated by state law.

In the data presented by the Treasurer’s office, collections of the tax declined 1.3% from $34.463 million in 2016. That wasn’t the biggest decline in the period from 2008 through 2017 (from 2008 to 2009 collections fell 9.3%) and while year over year collections have grown from 2009 through 2016 double digit increases in collections came in 2009 to 2010 and 2010 to 2011 with 10.4% and 12.6% increases. A year ago it was noted that the hotel occupancy rate in Downtown Pittsburgh fell in 2016 from the rate in 2014 and 2015 but not as much as the rest of the “Pittsburgh market” which appears to include the entire metro area.

Last year there was a proposal to add an additional 2 points on the County tax (that portion would have been called a “tourism promotion fee”, and the bill has not moved since February of 2017) with boosters stating that they would only seek to utilize 1.25 points to fund a whole other variety of purposes, including a sports commission, which, as we wrote in last week’s Brief, will now be funded by a slice of gaming money.