Reynoldsburg News

City bed tax revenue up by nearly $48,000 in 2013

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The city's bed tax revenue was up 17 percent by the end of 2013, according to Mary Hudson, executive director of the Reynoldsburg Visitors and Community Activities Bureau.

Hudson said the extra money benefited her organization as well as the city's bottom line.

In a recent report to Reynoldsburg City Council, Hudson said the bed tax generated $285,412.94 by the end of 2013, a $47,677.79 increase over 2012.

"The Visitors Bureau is capped at $75,000, so that our efforts helped to generate $210,412.94 going into the general fund for the city of Reynoldsburg," she said.

Council approved a hike in the hotel tax, also known as the bed tax, from 4 percent to 6 percent in December 2009. Councilman Mel Clemens suggested the bed tax hike, saying most surrounding communities charged 6 percent while Reynoldsburg was only charging 4 percent.

The tax is charged on the total cost a customer pays to stay in any hotel in Reynoldsburg. It can only be collected from hotels within a municipality's boundaries and only if a convention and visitors bureau has been established and registered in the community.

Reynoldsburg has three hotels -- Day's Inn & Suites, 2100 Brice Road; Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 2806 Taylor Road; and Fairfield Inn & Suites, 2826 Taylor Road.

Hudson said the 17-percent increase in bed tax revenue last year was an improvement over an 11-percent increase in 2012.

Councilwoman Leslie Kelly said the revenue increase is good news for the city.

"I think that's fantastic," she said.

Hudson said the Visitors Bureau is now in its 24th year.

"As its one and only director, I am still as excited to promote Reynoldsburg every day as I was 24 years ago when I first started my job," she said.

She said the Bureau is a direct marketing organization formed to bring visitors into the city and to help contribute to the area's economic development.

"We also work very closely with the state of Ohio, Franklin County and Columbus in promoting all our tourism entities," she said.

Hudson said Reynoldsburg's location on Interstate 70 and 270 "really helps whenever large events come into Columbus," such as Mopar, the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the Arnold Sports Festival.

She said this year's Arnold also brought plenty of visitors to Reynoldsburg.

"Our hotels were full and our restaurants were pleased to host so many visitors to the Arnold," she said.

Hudson said the completion of a new Hilton in Columbus means downtown Columbus has increased the number of available hotel rooms to the extent "that it (Columbus) can now try for much larger conventions, such as the 2016 Republican and Democratic Conventions, which if they would receive the bid, would benefit all of us in central Ohio."

Columbus learned last week that it is out of the running for the Republican National Convention.

She said the Visitors Bureau works closely with the Reynoldsburg Area Chamber of Commerce and other city departments and organizations to coordinate events such as Community Clean-Up Day, Pioneer Day, The Reynoldsburg Farmers Market, Taste of Reynoldsburg and the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival.

Hudson said she markets Reynoldsburg through advertisements in the Ohio State Travel Guide and other local publications.

"The cost of print media continues to rise, so it helps tremendously that part of our advertising is done through co-ops with the Central Ohio Heritage Circle, Experience Columbus and the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus," she said. "We will continue to assess our advertising and marketing programs for the most effective use of our resources."

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