Lexington's Hotel-Motel Tax Under Study

Feb 15, 2012

A major source of revenue in Lexington will undergo a review.  And, there could be changes in the city’s hotel and motel tax. Veteran Council member Kevin Stinnett wants a re-examination of Lexington’s six-percent transient room tax.   The levy, which is paid by anyone staying in Lexington hotels and motels, generates over six million dollars annually.  It doesn’t go directly to the city, but instead, goes to the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Lexington Center Corporation.  It’s the Lexington Center which oversees the convention center and Rupp Arena.  Stinnett says a review doesn’t necessarily imply a tax increase.

“Don’t know…I mean until we have a better understanding of what we’re charging and what’s it’s generating…that’s probably the next discussion,” said Stinnett.

Stinnett adds his request for a review is not linked to a proposed renovation of Rupp Arena.  The city’s hotel motel tax is currently at the limit set by state statute.   So, any increase would require the General Assembly’s approval.   The review surprised Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

“The way the legislative process works is…an issue like this can come up at any time and the council then makes a decision to study it…but we’ll see where it goes from here,” said Gray.

For now, the hotel-motel tax review is in the hands of the council’s budget and finance committee.