SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The hotel/motel tax has been a heated topic for years now – with the city attempting to raise the tax multiple times now.

People don’t come to Savannah for the city’s hotels they come for Savannah itself – and this increase in tax is really going to benefit both sides.

Raising the hotel/motel tax in Savannah is a constant battle going on for years now – yet elected officials believe a hotel/motel tax increase is coming to Savannah at the end of the current session. 

It’s a tax hike that the mayor yes benefits both sides.

“It’s a win-win-win. It’s not coming out of the taxpayer’s back, it’s not coming from the city government’s back,” Mayor Johnson said. 

The City of Savannah is looking to increase its hotel/motel tax from 6% to 8%.

Based on a city report with 2022 tourism numbers – if an 8% tax was in place it would’ve generated an extra $12 million.

And now more people are on board with the tax hike than we’ve ever seen.

Michael Owens, CEO of the Tourism Leadership Council told News 3,“I think there’s a lot of reasons that there’s more interest now. Then we’ve seen before. Number one we’ve survived covid far better than many of our competitors not just across the country but across the world. We’ve also endured the price increase that we’re seeing from inflation. Our economy from a tourism perspective is still incredibly strong.” 

Incentivizing hotels by using some of the tax to continue to invest in tourist destinations.

 “Hotel/motel tax really is built to invest in tourism,” Owens explained. “It is to create that structure. I think we’re seeing broader support from the lodging industry on this. Our folks are by and large pretty excited about the opportunities that this higher tax can bring for the community.” 

And this time around owens believes we’re nearing the finish line

He said,“It’s a hard process to raise a tax like this it’s been several years in the making going back and forth with the city and state. And I think we may make it across the finish line.”