Sedona, City, Chamber and Transient Lodging Districts
The City of Sedona raised the city-bed taxes in 2013 and made an agreement with the regional chamber to give them 55% ofcity-bed-taxes. Why is this wrong?
Who is being enriched with this agreement? How is the public being hurt?
- The Chamber is NOT part of the GOVERNMENT they are a private-membership business organization. Third party organization.
- Chamber members are not exclusive to in-city. In fact only 2.5% of their members collect city-bed tax.
Many are confused and think Sedona has a regional Transient Bed District. We don’t. Many states operate under area districts that all lodging in that district pays into. Sedona doesn’t.
So how did this happen? The Sedona Lodging Council an affinity group of the Sedona Chamber went to the city and asked them to raise the bed tax with a kickback of those bed taxes to be given to the Chamber to market their industry.
Did the in city Lodging get a vote? No. The city council made that decision without any notice or vote by the in-city lodging owners.
Who plays into Sedona City Bed tax? Lodging outside the city limits are exempt from any city- taxes as they are outside the city limits. Timeshares within the city are also city-bed-tax exempt according to City management they are deeded property therefore do not charge city bed tax unless they rent the room out for a night to non timeshare owners.
What is the bed-tax differences?
The in-city-lodging pays up to 13.90% in combined taxes.
Timeshares in-city pay ZERO city-bed-tax
Lodging OUTSIDE city limits only pay state & county only at total of 6.35%
Since the city pays the chamber 55% of city bed tax how much are membership dues for Hotels to be Chamber members? Hotels throughout the region can join the Chamber. Membership dues are tiered costs. Basic fees along with a rate per room is standard dues. Additional programs are pay to play like highlighted features, backlinks and other marketing. Since Hotels pay by the room it has been report some pay dues in the thousands. Numbers reported are $40,000 annual for larger hotels.
Terms are being thrown around loosely, the Chamber calls themselves a DMO. Claim they certified. Our research showed us a certification is easily obtained though Destination Marketing Associations and cost between $1,500 to 2,000 to take a class and get the certification.
So how do other Cities and Towns market themselves with transient bed taxes? Below is a benchmark that compares Sedona to Prescott, Flagstaff and Scottsdale. In order to keep the playing field fair the unincorporate Sedona region is also used.
How do other Chambers compare to Sedona? Below is the comparison that shows our benchmark Cities of Scottsdale, Flagstaff and Prescott Chambers get ZERO funding from their cities.
How much Money has the Chamber received from the city?
What are the impacts for the community of Sedona?
Has this agreement with the Chamber receiving 55% of Sedona-city-bed-tax changed Sedona?
How has the businesses been helped or hurt with this agreement? How has the Chambers membership and income Changed?
What other benefits to the chamber get from the city?
- Source Chamber Tax Returns