The city of Brookhaven unanimously passed the necessary resolution to request the Georgia General Assembly allow an increase in the city’s hotel/motel tax. Currently the city maintains a 5 percent hotel/motel tax, lower than neighboring jurisdictions such as DeKalb County and the city of Atlanta. The city’s request, if granted, would put Brookhaven on par with DeKalb, Atlanta and others, at 8 percent.
How does this impact Brookhaven residents and businesses?
City hotel/motel taxes such as this one must be designated for projects that drive tourism to a jurisdiction. Atlanta is currently using a portion of their hotel/motel tax to fund the development of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Brookhaven residents and future users of the much-anticipated Peachtree Creek Greenway will be excited to know that half of the new revenue from this increase (1.5 percent of the 3 percent) will provide much of the needed funding to make the greenway a reality. The other 1.5 percent will, by law, be used to promote tourism to the city.
The greenway, a 3-mile linear park and multi-modal path, will connect Brookhaven to the Atlanta BeltLine and PATH400 along Peachtree Creek. The project, first proposed by DeKalb County in 1999, is anticipated to bring much-needed park space and bike/pedestrian infrastructure to Brookhaven residents as well as draw visitors and tourists to our city via arts, sport, and cultural programming.
In Brookhaven, many hotels and motels will have frontage and/or be a short walk to the greenway. According to the fifth annual Lodging Tax Study by HVS Consulting (2016), a hospitality intelligence firm, hotel owners rarely oppose such taxes dedicated to tourism promotion, stating “for hotel owners, tourist-oriented public facilities and advertising serve as drivers of room demand. All of the hotels in a given market can benefit from programs that bring tourists … to a city.”
And Brookhaven residents benefit from the halo effect of visitor spending and this associated tax revenue that tourism generates in local shops, pubs, and restaurants.
Support the city of Brookhaven, support the greenway! You can help secure this funding revenue for our city and for this project by contacting your local state representatives and telling them that you support the city of Brookhaven’s request to increase the hotel/motel tax to 8 percent.
Board vice chair
Peachtree Creek Greenway