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.
Date posted: August 3, 2010
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