Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Bend City Council is referring a proposed increase of the city's hotel tax to voters.

The measure will appear on the November ballot. It would increase the fee paid by travelers staying at a hotel or other temporary lodging.

The 1.4 percent increase would be spread out over two years and would bring in an estimated $700,000 during its first year.

Most of that would be used to pay for a new marketing campaign promoting Bend in places like Seattle and Northern California. The money would also establish a cultural trust and fund police and fire services.

Doug LaPlaca is President and CEO of Visit Bend and a member of the Tourism, Arts & Public Safety Initiative.

"We are excited and we do believe that as the community is educated on the benefits of the proposal that we'll have the support to get this approved.," LaPlaca said.

The group originally called for a 2 percent hike but was forced to scale back its proposal amid opposition from some hotel owners.

LaPlaca says the Tourism, Arts & Public Safety Initiative will transition into a political action committee over the next few weeks.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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