GVB to oppose Hotel Occupancy Tax increase - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GVB to oppose Hotel Occupancy Tax increase

Posted: Jul 12, 2018 4:16 PM Updated:

The Guam Visitors Bureau is warning against a proposal to raise the hotel occupancy tax. Speaker Benjamin Cruz has introduced a bill to increase the tax from 11 percent to 15.  That would equate to a more than 35 percent hike.

In a presentation for the Rotary Club, GVB President and CEO Nate Denight explains the numbers, as he detaield, "If they raise the HOT by 4 percent, that'll take it to 15 percent. And there was also suggestion that the BPT go to 5.5 percent, so we're talking about an effective 20.5 percent rate. So if our average daily rate is $207, so 20 percent would make a $42, almost $43, making the total room night $250 average for the destination. So that's quite expensive to the consumer, we believe."

Denight says GVB members know that the Trump tax reforms have had a huge impact on local government revenues. And while they understand the government may need to raise taxes, they don't think the tourism industry can sustain that hard of a hit. "Really just to focus that 4 points on the HOT while we're already kinda battling back as I mentioned from North Korea, battling from this loss of air service, battling in Japan. It'll make it tough to do our job to continue the growth," he said.

A public hearing on the speaker's bill to raise the hotel occupancy tax is scheduled for Monday at 5:30 p.m.

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