Group proposes hotel tax to pay for convention center

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Proponents of a new Anchorage convention center asked the Assembly on Tuesday to put a hotel tax increase on the municipal ballot in April.

The group, Anchorage Convention and Civic Center Yes, asked the Assembly to approve a ballot measure that would increase the city's room tax for hotels and motels from 8 percent to 12 percent.

The money would help pay for bonds that would finance much of the estimated $100 million convention center project.

Assembly approval is necessary to put the tax before voters.

The group, which is funded by hotels and other groups, says the tax would be important for Anchorage's economic development and would help the city diversify its economy.

Money from the project might also come from the sale of the city's existing convention center and state and federal sources, but the project won't happen without the hotel tax, said the group's executive director, Jim Lottsfeldt.

''It's vital,'' he said.

The Assembly must approve the hotel tax by Feb. 12 to place it on the April 2 municipal ballot.

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