The Stonecrest City Council will take a final vote on its hotel/motel tax ordinance on Aug. 7. The ordinance will assess a 5 percent tax to Stonecrest’s 10 hotels and motels for fees charged to their guest for lodging. The tax is 3 percent lower than hotel operators have been paying to DeKalb County.
On June 19,the council approved an 8 percent hotel/motel tax but later found they had to rescind the ordinance until city officials get the approval of the State Legislature to charge 8 percent. Once approved, the additional 3 percent will go toward promoting and marketing tourism, conventions and trade shows in accordance with the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. Georgia law only allows for 3 percent of the tax to go into the city’s General Fund. Taxes collected in excess of 3 percent must go into tourism and trade promotion.
The city has not established a visitors’ bureau, therefore, the additional tax will go to the Discover DeKalb Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The DCVB serves the entire county but will designate marketing and tourism funds for Stonecrest that match the amount of taxes collected. The tax shortfall for Stonecrest could be as much as $100,000 for the remainder of the year.
According to James Tsismanakis, DCVB director, 11 out of DeKalb’s 14 cities have hotels or motels. Of those 11 cities, Doraville and Decatur are the only ones that charge less that the standard 8 percent tax.