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One Percent Increase on Bed Tax for Support of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

6/24/2019


Media contact: Mary Louise Madigan: (216) 698-2521; mlmadigan@cuyahogacounty.us


CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH-County Executive Armond Budish and Council President Dan Brady are co-sponsoring an ordinance on Cuyahoga County Council's agenda for June 25, 2019 to increase the Cuyahoga County hotel bed tax by one percent, which will generate an estimated additional $4.6 million per year and will be directed toward costs of operating and maintaining the County's Huntington Convention Center.

This funding to the Convention Center will allow current sales tax funds in the same amount to be replaced and redirected from the Convention Center toward support of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, primarily to support Hall of Fame (HOF) induction ceremonies in Cleveland on an every-other-year basis as well as other key mission related costs, and also provide for a professional sports facility fund to support necessary capital improvements at Progressive Field and Rocket Mortgage Field House. Revenue generated by the increase is expected to increase as local travel and visitation continue to grow. Based upon current estimates of collection, $1.6 million of the amount will be dedicated to support HOF induction ceremonies; the approximate remaining amount of $3 million will go to the sports facility fund.

"This increase in the bed tax will support vital local assets—the Convention Center, the Rock Hall and our sports facilities—as well as fuel our continued momentum as a tourist destination," said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. "That is the purpose of a hotel room tax for visitors to our community—better experience for visitors, which leads to greater success for our hospitality industry."

"This revenue will provide much needed resources to both Destination Cleveland and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," said Council President Dan Brady. "In 2016, Destination Cleveland made a significant contribution to the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse transformation project and the bed tax increase will begin to replenish that lost revenue. The money for the Rock Hall will secure the Hall of Fame Inductions, at a minimum, every other year."

"We are grateful to the County and the local travel and tourism industry for this support," said Rock & Roll Hall of Fame President and CEO Greg Harris. "Rock Hall visitors generate more than $200 million to the region’s economy each year. This investment enhances our ability to deliver a world class experience and continue to serve as the travel and tourism anchor to Cuyahoga County."

"Investing in local travel and tourism makes sense, and we are thankful to our County Leadership for recognizing our industry’s impact," said Destination Cleveland President and CEO David Gilbert. "Over 95 percent of the bed tax is paid by visitors from outside Cuyahoga County, not by County residents. This tax helps us grow the industry, which today includes more than 68,000 travel and tourism jobs in Cuyahoga County and generates $5.8 billion in direct sales every year. We know that for every dollar Destination Cleveland invests in marketing and promoting our region, there is a return of $195 to our area through visitor spending."

Following first reading at Tuesday's Cuyahoga County Council meeting, the ordinance will be referred to the Committee of the Whole for hearing and discussion.