Statewide Hospitality Association Files Motion For Summary Judgment In Defense Of Tourism Investments
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Moves Forward With Legal Action Against the City of Bend to Protect Lodging Tax Dollars Intended for Tourism Promotion
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) filed a motion for summary judgment Thursday against the City of Bend for diverting the City’s room tax revenues away from tourism promotion and reducing the allocation for tourism promotion below what is required by law.
The question presented in the case is whether the City of Bend violated state law in May of 2017 when the Bend City Council passed Ordinance NS-2291. The ordinance reduces the percentage of total local transient lodging tax revenues the City spends to fund tourism promotion or tourism-related facilities after July 2, 2003.
“Bend made a clear commitment in 2001 ratified in city code to increase the percentage of total local transient lodging tax revenues to be spent on tourism through a phased in approach,” said ORLA President & CEO Jason Brandt. “We believe state law requires the City of Bend to uphold this commitment.”
Bend City Ordinance NS-2291 violates state law (Oregon Revised Statue 320.350) as follows:
“We look forward to resolving this matter through the court system. It is our duty to protect and promote the importance of tourism investments as an economic driver for communities across Oregon,” said Brandt.
A report from Longwoods International shows for every $1 invested in tourism promotion, $237 is generated in economic impact and $11 in tax revenue to the benefit of Oregon residents.
ORLA is engaged on a state and local level, helping local municipalities realize that shifts in tourism promotion investments can do more harm than good. Brandt argues there is a direct correlation between tourism promotion and a community’s own tax revenue. “Tourism promotion dollars are crucial to keeping Oregon’s visitor destinations top of mind. Local communities stand to lose significant tax dollars for their general funds if tourists choose to travel elsewhere.”
For more information, contact ORLA President & CEO, Jason Brandt, at 971.224.1501.
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association represents approximately 2,500 members, and advocates for over 9,900 foodservice locations and 2,200 lodging establishments in Oregon. The foodservice and lodging industry is responsible for 173,700 jobs bringing in over $10.8 billion in annual sales and generates over 54% of the annual tourism dollars spent in Oregon.
ORLA is the only major trade association in the state that has defended lottery retailers since the introduction of video lottery in Oregon. ORLA defends commission rates and protects against extreme regulatory attacks, such as increased casino expansions off tribal reservations. ORLA is supportive of gaming as entertainment, adjunct to the hospitality industry.
Our government affairs staff have regular conversations with the Oregon Lottery on issues of importance for our members, including the protection of commission rates. As retailers well know, there’s increasing competition from out of state casinos threatening diminished revenues for the state. There is no one better positioned to continue having these crucial conversations with the Lottery to protect retailers’ rates.
Have questions / concerns about issues relating to the Lottery? Give us a call at 503.682.4422 or email Advocacy@OregonRLA.org.