Lodging Tax Overview
The Transient Lodging Tax (TLT) is a tax imposed on the service charge of occupancy of all transient lodging located within Benton County, including within the city limits of incorporated cities in the county. Benton County TLT applies to all facilities with lodgers of stays less than 30 days and with rental availability to the public of more than 30 days in calendar year. This includes hotels, motels, resorts, inns, bed & breakfasts, cabins, lodges, RV sites and campgrounds, vacation rental houses, and any other dwelling unit used for temporary overnight stays.
Lodging occupants shall pay a tax in the amount of 3 percent of the total retail price, including all charge and fees other than taxes. The Lodging Provider or Lodging intermediary that collects the charges for occupancy is the responsible party (Lodging Tax Collector) for collecting and remitting any lodging tax in accordance to the identified tax collection process.
Purpose of Tax
The resource received by the County from the TLT, per Chapter 39 Part 39.002 of the Benton County Code, are distributed, minus any cost to the in administering the tax, as follows:
- No less than seventy percent (70%) of all tax revenue received from lodging tax collectors shall be used to fund tourism promotion and tourism-related facilities.
- The balance remaining shall be disbursed to the Benton County general fund to be used for county services.
One of the planned uses of the TLT is enhancing the facilities at the Benton County Event Center and Fairground to increase tourism and economic development. On April 2, 2019, the Board of Commissioners approved an updated master plan that identifies new construction and needed improvements to existing buildings, and a comprehensive business plan that explores management options and provides an operational and maintenance budget, plus potential funding mechanisms. The TLT will be a critical resource in the implementation of this plan.
Exclusions from Tax
The following lodging facilities and occupants are exempt from the Benton County TLT and do not require registration
- A dwelling unit that is leased or otherwise occupied by the same person for a consecutive period of 30 days or more during the year. The requirements of this subsection are satisfied even if the physical dwelling unit changes during the consecutive period, if (a) all dwelling units occupied are within the same facility; and (b) the person paying consideration for the transient lodging is the same person throughout the consecutive period
- A dwelling unit in a hospital, health care facility, long term care facility or any other residential facility that is licensed, registered or certified by the Oregon Department of Human Services or the Oregon Health Authority;
- A dwelling unit in a facility providing treatment for drug or alcohol abuse or providing mental health treatment.
- A dwelling unit, the consideration for which is funded through a contract with a government agency and the purpose of which is to provide emergency or temporary shelter or;
- A dwelling unit at a nonprofit youth or church camp, nonprofit conference center, or other nonprofit facility. A non-profit lodging facility must be owned by an Internal Revenue Code 501(c) exempt organization and not be operated for a profit.