Lodging tax would help fund 2021 championships

Mon Feb 1, 2016 1:53pm EST
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(Reuters) - A proposed increase in Oregon's state lodging tax could be a significant source of income for the 2021 IAAF world championships, officials say.

Organisers of the multi-million dollar event in Eugene say they hope to ask state tourism officials for $25 million from a lodging tax increase over the next six years.

The tax would be doubled to 2 percent of room costs under a bill scheduled to be introduced in the Oregon Legislature this month and would provide additional funding for tourism endeavours across the state.

"We would be looking at $25 million of whatever that generates over the next six years to go into the world championships," TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna told Reuters.

The statewide 1 percent tax has raised $11.4 million during the first six months of the fiscal year (July through December) and total revenues for the 2015-17 biennium are forecasted to be about $37.7 million, the state Legislative Revenue Office said.

A revenue estimate for the proposed increase has not been prepared, but is expected to about double the amount of revenue.   

Overall operating budget for the nine-day event, which will be held in the United States for the first time, is expected to be around $80 million.

Another $50-60 million, all privately funded, would be spent on renovating and enlarging the stadium for the event, Hayward Field.

"The feedback that we have received from folks in the Legislature, and our lobbyist and others, is that it is highly likely that we will get that lodging tax (increase)," Paul Weinhold, president/chief executive of the University of Oregon Foundation, told Reuters.   Continued...

A view shows the logo at the The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) headquarters in Monaco, January 14, 2016.   REUTERS/Eric Gaillard