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Published January 20, 2011, 05:27 PM

Proposed Local Lodging Tax Could Have Huge Impact on North Dakota

Two bills that have been introduced in the North Dakota legislature would both put in place a local lodging tax throughout the state. Such a tax could bring millions of dollars to cities through their hotels and motels.

Two bills that have been introduced in the North Dakota legislature would both put in place a local lodging tax throughout the state.

Such a tax could bring millions of dollars to cities through their hotels and motels.

Right now under current law, people who live in motels for more than 30 days don't pay the lodging tax.

Some hotels and Convention and Visitors Bureaus would like to see that changed.

They say they're losing out on funding because some construction and oil field workers pay ahead for their 30 day stays but end up staying longer, so the hotel has to refund their money because the tax is only good for the first 30 days.

In rules set up by the tax department to address some problems, it has been determined a hotel room must be occupied by the same guest during the entire stay to get the tax break.

The proposals allow cities to put a local two percent tax on motel bills.

Suzie Baish is the tourism director in Devils Lake and she says, "it in turn will come back to CVB's, which will in turn be able to promote our state, we want to stay on top."

Baisch says she's not exactly sure how much money would be coming back into the city of Devils Lake's Convention and Visitors Bureau, but the state Tax Department estimates the bills would raise another $1.6 million for the state treasury and $1.4 million for city coffers.

If both bills were to pass, they would eventually have to be combined into one bill.

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