The Bend City Council put months of discussion to rest Wednesday night by passing the Transient Room Tax Resolution, 5-2. Voters will decide in November if the tax-rate on rooms should jump from 9 to 10.4 percent.
The decision didn’t come easily, though. After hearing support from several business figures in the community, council members expressed their own concerns with the tax.
Councilor Mark Capell, although in support of the measure, brought up the notion of an advisory committee being formed to again thoroughly discuss the tax and receive feedback from those the tax would affect directly. Council members agreed a committee to open up dialogue would be in the best interest of a number of entities.
“Ultimately, we want to be as sharp and as effective as we can with those dollars — that’s the bottom line,” Councilor Sally Russell said.
Funding, as discussed in previous meetings, would mostly flow into tourism, the arts and emergency services.
Mayor Jim Clinton also voiced support of the resolution and listed its upsides.
“If voters pass this, it makes a strong statement about our commitment in Bend to moving our arts and culture to another level,” he said.
Council Members Jodie Barram, Doug Knight, Mark Capell and Sally Russell, as well as Mayor Clinton voted ‘yes’ for the resolution, while Council Members Victor Chudowsky and Scott Ramsay voted ‘no.’