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Taxes on lodging could rise
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The city of McMinnville wouldn’t rest in its battle to increase its hotel tax. Those efforts could be paying off.

The Tennessee General Assembly approved House Bill 2666 on April 23. It allows the increase of hotel, motel tax collection from 2.5 percent to 5 percent, the maximum amount of the occupancy tax the city is authorized to levy. Approval by Gov. Bill Haslam is required before the change becomes law.

Cities are allowed to collect, after state approval, up to what the county collects. Warren County collects 5 percent.

However, when city officials petitioned the state for the maximum amount last year, the request was cut in half.

According to state Sen. Janice Bowling, the city could be held at 2.5 percent by state legislators because the Tennessee Department of Tourism, the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the Tennessee Tourism Association, and the Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee prefer the total amount of tax paid by any hotel or motel guest in the state not to exceed 17.25 percent.

Officials pushed the state for the increase to 5 percent because the arbitrary cap set by legislators was not law.

The bill was assigned Public Chapter No. 796 by the Secretary of State.