First reading of County Transient Lodging Tax ordinance scheduled for April 16

Person holding a document between both hands to read aloud.
Monday, April 15, 2019

At the upcoming Benton County Board of Commissioners business meeting on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 12:00pm, the first reading of the new transient lodging tax ordinance will occur.

A transient lodging tax applies to lodging facility users with stays less than 30 days. This tax does not directly affect County residents since tourists and visitors primarily stay in hotels and other lodging facilities within the County. Currently the City of Corvallis imposes a 9% TLT and Linn County implemented a 3% TLT on October 1, 2018.

The proposed tax would be set at 3% and generate approximately $500,000 to $600,000. State statute requires that 70% of tax revenue collected must be allocated for tourism promotion or tourism-related facilities. The remaining 30% can be utilized by Benton County on any County services. Typically a portion of the 30% is used for operating costs, such as code inspections and enforcement.

On April 2, 2019, the Benton County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 to accept a new master plan for the Benton County Fairgrounds. Commissioners are supportive of the improving infrastructure at the Fairgrounds in order to improve safety, and attract more and diverse events and exhibitions. Relatively inexpensive, immediate improvements are included in the County’s budget, but full execution of the master plan would be reliant upon revenues from a transient lodging tax.

“The Benton County Fairgrounds has been an important social and cultural gathering place for our community for the past 100 years, and we want to ensure it remains that way for decades to come.  We are very excited about the potential funding to serve residents and visitors in new ways, upgrade facilities, accommodate larger events and a wider range of activities, and support economic development in the area,” said Lynne McKee, Benton County Fairgrounds Manager.