Watchdog group New Orleans needs bigger hotel tax share

NEW ORLEANS — An independent research group is recommending changes in the collection and distribution of hotel room tax revenue in tourism-dependent New Orleans.If implemented, the changes would bring an estimated $12.3 million annually to the city’s budget.Wednesday’s recommendation from the non-profit Bureau of Governmental Research feeds into an ongoing debate among, Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration, tourism leaders and state lawmakers. Cantrell wants the city to get a bigger share of hotel tax revenue that now goes mostly to tourism-related programs and structures, such as the Superdome.BGR says city government should get what amounts to a 1 per cent increase in the hotel tax. It suggests that could be accomplished partly by slightly raising the hotel room tax, and partly by redirecting some existing hotel tax revenue.Kevin McGill, The Associated Press

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