Innkeeper's Tax Approved in Allen County

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John Sampson is president & CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. John Sampson is president & CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

A one-percentage point tax hike to support the Fort Wayne and Allen County hospitality industry was passed Thursday by the Allen County Council on a 4-3 vote. The innkeeper’s tax, used to market the region, will now rise from seven percent to eight.

The tax is assessed to people renting a hotel room or some other forms of lodging in the county.

The Northeast Indiana Regional partnership pushed for passage of the tax increase. President and CEO John Sampson says it is critical for economic growth by using the tax revenue to market the communities to visitors.

“We cannot overlook the impact tourism has to set the stage for a powerful and positive impression and reputation as a community worthy of consideration for relocations and the benefits that this will have on our future workforce,” said Sampson.

Sampson says the firsthand experience of visitors at area attractions is often most required by future residents. “The reality is that every community in Northeast Indiana needs Visit Fort Wayne and Allen County to be very successful in marketing quality of place assets and bringing more tourists to Northeast Indiana.”

In May the Indiana General Assembly approved legislation allowing ten counties, including Allen County, to increase the hotel tax. Governor Eric Holcomb signed the measure into law in May, but it required the local county councils with its fiscal oversight to approve the tax measure.

Revenue from the additional 1 percent will go into Visit Fort Wayne coffers. Sampson estimates 70 percent to 80 percent of the tax revenue will come from visitors and people who live outside of Allen County.

Allen County Councilman Ken Fries, R-at large, opposed the tax increase. One of his concerns was the money goes to an organization with non-elected board members.

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