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Philadelphia Hotel Operators Get Behind Proposed Hike in City's Hotel Tax

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A squabble within the city's tourism industry has been resolved, and now hotel operators are supporting a hike in Philadelphia's hotel tax.

Two groups  -- the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau -- want the hotel tax increase.  They would split the estimated $2 million a year in revenue for increased marketing of Philadelphia as a tourist destination.

But the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association announced publicly last week that they would not support the tax hike.  Now, they're back on board.

"We all sat down at the table and have come to an agreement," says Ed Grose, executive director of the Hotel Association.

In exchange for that support, he says, his group will be given an extra seat on the GPTMC board.

"We will go from two to three seats on the (board of the) GPTMC," he tells KYW Newsradio, "and we also continue our tradition of advising both agencies on how the money is spent."

The proposal would raise the tax on hotel rooms from 1.2 percent to 1.5 percent, a hike estimated to costs guests about an extra 50 cents per night.

A final vote by City Council on the tax hike is expected Thursday.


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