By Michela Owen
June 7, 2024

Lodging tax increase vote

Edmond residents will vote on a proposition to increase the city’s lodging tax.

Edmond residents will soon vote on a proposition to increase the city’s lodging tax from 4% to 6% during the primary election on June 18, 2024. This tax, applied to overnight stays in local hotels, bed & breakfasts, and vacation homes, is the lowest in the metro area. If passed, the increase is estimated to generate an additional $500,000 in revenue annually, which would benefit the city in various ways.

Understanding lodging tax

Lodging tax is charged to visitors who stay overnight within Edmond’s city limits, covering its 13 hotels, one bed & breakfast, and over 150 vacation homes. For instance, an overnight stay costing $100 would see an increase in tax from $4 to $6 under the new rate. This tax has remained unchanged since it was first implemented in 1994.

Impact on Edmond citizens

Local citizens will not be directly impacted by this tax unless they stay overnight in one of the taxed accommodations. However, increased revenue from visitors can significantly benefit the city’s economy. When visitors spend the night, they are likely to shop, dine, and engage in recreational activities, thus increasing the city’s sales tax revenue.

Benefits of increasing the lodging tax

The additional revenue from the lodging tax will support Visit Edmond in attracting, retaining, and sustaining events, which is expected to boost sales tax income. Sales tax is a crucial source of funding for city amenities such as streets, parks, trails, and attractions that enhance the quality of life for Edmond residents.

Comparing lodging tax in metro area

Currently, Edmond’s lodging tax rate is the lowest compared to nearby cities:

  • Edmond: 4%
  • OKC: 5.5%
  • Guthrie: 7%
  • Stillwater: 7%
  • Norman: 8%

Increasing the rate to 6% would still keep Edmond competitive while providing much-needed funds to improve the city’s infrastructure and services.

As the vote approaches, the business community and residents of Edmond must stay informed about the potential impacts of this tax increase. The Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce endorses this initiative, emphasizing the positive outcomes for the local economy and community development. Engaged citizens and business owners are encouraged to participate in discussions and share their perspectives on how the increased revenue can be utilized to enhance Edmond’s amenities and overall quality of life.

By staying informed and involved, Edmond residents can make a well-informed decision supporting our city’s growth and prosperity.

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About Michela Owen

Michela Owen is an Oklahoma native and passionate wordsmith with a knack for creative problem-solving. After obtaining her associate's in business management from Baptist Bible College, she went on to receive her bachelor's of journalism with a focus in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma. During her time at OU, she was the news lead of OU Esports.

Michela is also a Marketing Strategist at Backslash Creative, where she helps businesses and nonprofits be strategic about how and where they spend their marketing efforts.