Hotel tax would fund zoo improvements, Mishawaka sports complex

INDIANAPOLIS (WNDU) - A plan to fund the establishment of a new Mishawaka multi-sports complex and improvements to South Bend’s zoo surfaced Thursday in Indianapolis.

A 189-page amendment to the Indiana House-passed budget bill was added by consent in a Senate committee Thursday.

It calls for 1 percent of the tax charged on local hotel room rentals to be dedicated to the aforementioned causes.

One percent of the innkeeper’s tax would raise about $900,000 a year, with 60 percent going to the sports complex and 40 percent going to the zoo.

“It’s going to include some dollars that now will go from, with innkeeper’s tax, that was being used for the [College] Football Hall of Fame, which are no longer needed. Those dollars will go in a couple different directions," said Sen. David Niezgodski, D-South Bend.

The amended bill calls for the payments to stop in July of 2024, at which time the innkeeper’s tax in St. Joseph County would decrease from its current rate of 6 percent to 5 percent.