Stillwater approves lodging tax extension through 2020

In a 4-1 vote March 7, the Stillwater City Council approved an extension of the city’s 3 percent lodging tax through the end of 2020.

Councilmember Tom Weidner, who has expressed concerns over how the money is spent, dissented.

The tax is collected by hotels and bed and breakfast establishments, and is used to fund the Stillwater/Oak Park Heights Convention and Visitors Bureau, also known as Discover Stillwater.

City staff had believed the tax was set to expire at the end of 2017, but discovered the expiration date was actually Jan. 31. The city council’s approval of the extension was made effective retroactively to the beginning of February, so no revenue would be lost.

Some city council members want to consider lowering the tax in the future, but the majority decided it’s better to wait, because of two planned hotels downtown and the expected addition of revenue from taxing short-term house rentals.

The city can adjust or cancel the tax prior to the new expiration date.

  • GreaterMN

    Of all the cities in Minnesota that collect that “lodging tax” to suppport tourism marketing etc, Stillwater is one of the very few that actually get some “bang” for the intended “buck”. Stillwater (and Red Wing) actually have a tourism economies, while many others think that they have an “historic district” to sell to tourists when they really have nothing but old buildings – there is a difference. Yet those other cities (with no discernable probability of becoming a tourism destination) still collect those lodging tax bucks annually and spend it to no avail. Think the Legislative Audit Commision needs a look at how that lodging tax thing has worked.