Proposal on table to raise NYC hotel tax

NEW YORK -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office and the Hotel Association of New York City are discussing a proposal to raise the city's hotel tax to help finance the expansion of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, the mayor's office confirmed.

Although the proposal is still being ironed out, options reportedly include a one or two percentage-point hike in the current 13.625% hotel tax or an increase in the current $2 a night bed tax.

Raising the hotel tax would need the approval of the city council and the state legislature.

If the tax were imposed, it would likely be a temporary measure to help fund the Javits Center expansion, estimated to cost $1.4 billion.

Officials are concerned about the impact a tax hike would have on business. The city in 1994 rolled back its 19.25% hotel tax as conventions began boycotting the city because of the high cost of doing business here.

"We support any step toward the expansion of the Javits Center, as long as business isn't negatively affected," said a spokeswoman for NYC & Co., the city's convention and visitors bureau.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Bloomberg said a resolution could be reached in "about two months."

To contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].

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