South Bend/Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau Seeks Hotel/Motel Tax Increase

Apparently, 840,000 dollars does not go as far as it used to when it comes to attracting tourists.

That is the current budget of the South Bend/Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The bureau wants to raise another 500,000 dollars by increasing the tax on hotel and motel rooms from 6% to 7%. "There's a lot of people that have more resources than we do. In a study done in spring of 2006, St. Joseph County area, South Bend/ Mishawaka area was the 13th best funded Convention and Visitors Bureau in all of Indiana, so there were a lot of other Indiana communities that were ahead of us. And, I'll take our product up against anybody that we have in terms of what people can do when the visit our community," says Greg Ayers.

For instance, the smaller counties of Elkhart and LaPorte both spend more than a million dollars a year trying to attract visitors.

Increasing the hotel-motel tax requires getting permission from the state legislature.

That process is expected to start in a couple weeks.

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