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New Orleans Hotels Want Guest Tax for Riverfront Project

Posted: May. 15th, 2013  |  By Michael Pearse

New Orleans has seen spectacular growth in tourism lately, but hotel operators want to be allowed to tax guests to help fund various beautification and renovation projects around the city. Though that'd mean a night's stay in New Orleans would be more expensive, it also means the city would have a lot more to offer.

New Orleans’ hotel and motel industry is asking the state Legislature to allow it to levy a new sales tax on its guests to have more money to market the city to tourists.

Stephen Perry, the head of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the tax would generate about $12 million per year and would promote added attractions, including the planned Phase V expansion of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site at the foot of Canal Street.

“If we were to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the riverfront and not spend $12 million to market it, that would be a foolish choice,” Perry said in an interview following the public unveiling of the plan supported by the hospitality industry for the World Trade Center site.

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