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Tuscaloosa considers lodging tax increase

TUSCALOOSA (AP) — Tuscaloosa officials are considering a boost in the city’s lodging tax to help fund a civic center or amphitheater on the riverfront.

City Council Finance Committee Chairman Lee Garrison this week said increasing the city’s lodging tax from 11 percent to 13 percent would generate about $750,000 a year.

The increase would give the city about $12 million over 30 years to use to retire debt on a possible civic center or amphitheater.

According to Garrison, Tuscaloosa’s lodging tax is lower than most of Alabama’s larger cities. Birmingham and Mobile charge a 14 percent lodging tax, while Montgomery has a 13 percent tax and Huntsville has 12 percent.

Of the 13 cities surveyed, only Dothan had a lower lodging tax at 10 percent.

If enacted, the increase would not take effect until January.

It would generate about $350,000 in the coming fiscal year. Of that, $250,000 would be earmarked for debt service while $100,000 would be dedicated to a sports foundation, which would work to attract sporting events to the city.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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