To provide a leadership role in the advancement of economic growth while enhancing the quality of life in “The Heart of Oklahoma”.
From surveying what other communities along I-35 are charging as lodging tax we learned the rates range from 4 to 5.5% depending upon the location. Most are charging 5% including Pauls Valley and Norman, our closest north and south neighbors and competitors along I-35. Thus the ordinance was written with a 5% tax on lodging rates to be collected from NON-PURCELL RESIDENT guests.
My personal experience of multiple hotel stays in many different locations has conditioned me to expect a hotel/lodging/tourism tax (what other communities might call the tax) to be assessed on my room rate at the time of check out. 5% is on the low end of the scale when you compare the rates in other states. Most if not all travelers expect to be charged a similar tax on their stays.
Our lodging businesses will collect the Lodging Tax from NON-PURCELL RESIDENT guests at the time they pay for their stay. The process will be just like that of our sales tax that is collected by all other retail businesses.
However, instead of submitting the proceeds to the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC), the statute allows proceeds from a lodging tax to be submitted directly to the City Clerk instead of the OTC. Normally the OTC distributes tax proceeds back to municipalities and counties about 45 days after the end of the month. By having the tax collected by the city clerk, the funds will be available within 15 days after the end of the month.
The ordinance is written to levy a consumer expected tax and the funds will be made available for community investments sooner than most. Both aspects are for the betterment of our town.