I want the best for Manzanita

Explaining Manzanita’s Transient Lodging Tax

October 20, 2022

I’ve been hearing many questions about our Transient Lodging Tax (TLT). It is confusing, and I hope this helps to clarify what is collected and how it can be used.

Manzanita had been collecting 7% Transient Lodging Tax (TLT) since the 1990s, prior to the implementation of state ordinance ORS 320.350 in 2003. Because Manzanita was already collecting this tax, it is ‘grandfathered’ and we are able to keep 100% of those funds for general government purposes.

In 2012, Manzanita increased the TLT from 7% to 9%. However, since ORS 320.350 was in effect, the city can use only 30% of that new revenue for general government purposes; the remaining 70% must be used for “tourism promotion or tourism-related facilities”.

Of the 9% TLT collected from Manzanita overnight visitors:

  • 7% goes to Manzanita’s General Fund (that grandfathered 7%)

  • 0.6% also goes to the General Fund (thirty percent of the 2% increase)

  • 1.4% goes to the Tourism Promotion and Facilities Fund (seventy percent of the 2% increase)

The Tourism Promotion and Facilities Fund was used in 2019 to cover the Visitor Center construction loan service, maintenance and utilities for the center, and the coordinator’s compensation. I support using this fund for “Destination Management”, not simply promoting tourism but managing the impacts of tourism on our infrastructure and livability. For example: to plan and construct a trails system, bike and pedestrian paths, parking lots for visitors, more restroom facilities, etc. There are options to pursue that can improve beach accessibility that may be funded by the Tourism fund; I’ll post about that separately.

I’ve heard suggestions that the TLT rate be increased to cover more of the City’s costs. However, increasing taxes on overnight visitors will not improve the City’s general government revenue picture since 70% of any new revenue must be spent on “Tourism Promotion”.

There have been attempts to update the state ordinance to change the 70/30 split, but the hospitality lobby has thwarted those efforts so far. I encourage you to lobby your state representatives to help our communities use more funds for local benefit. I also ask for one of your votes for the two open City Council positions on November 8.