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Will the room occupancy tax go away once the convention center is completed?

Shelby Sebens

The room occupancy tax will not go away when the Wilmington Convention Center is completed because there is no sunset clause in the law that increased the tax in 2003, President/CEO of the Wilmington/Cape Fear Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau Kim Hufham said.

In 2003, the N.C. General Assembly approved a bill that increased the room occupancy tax for all the municipalities in New Hanover County by 3 percent if they elected to enact the legislation, making the total tax 6 percent. Carolina Beach, Wilmington [Map this] and Wrightsville Beach enacted the additional 3 percent in 2003. Kure Beach enacted the tax in 2004 and the unincorporated areas of New Hanover County enacted the increase in 2006, according to documents provided by Hufham.

In 2006, the legislature created a room occupancy tax district in downtown Wilmington called the convention center district, which runs from the Isabelle Holmes Bridge to the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, and from the Cape Fear River to Fourth Street. From Sept. 1, 2006, to June 30, 2008, room tax collected in the convention center district was distributed by 40 percent to the city of Wilmington for its convention center account, 30 percent to a special beach renourishment fund and 30 percent to the Tourism Development Authority. In July 2008, 100 percent of the room occupancy tax collected in the convention center district was distributed to the city of Wilmington to fund the proposed Wilmington Convention Center.

Hufham said the distribution of the tax was phased in to ease the impact on the TDA and the beach nourishment fund. She said the tax will remain in place as is unless the legislature goes back and changes it.

“That law is the law,” she said.

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E. Hatcher

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2 Responses to “ Will the room occupancy tax go away once the convention center is completed?”

  1. On August 9, 2010 at 12:14 am Frank wrote:

    The convention center maybe built but its not paid in full. It will be many of years before that is paid off.

  2. On December 4, 2011 at 11:13 am NEPender wrote:

    Of course the tax will not go away. Usually on “taxes” (or so-called hidden fees) like this, once they are put in place, they never go away. If you were getting free money, would you stop letting someone give it to you?

    Just like the “prepared meals tax” that has been in place in NHC for years now.

    I’m surprised the government hasn’t figured out how to tax the air that we breathe, just give them time and they will.

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