By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
The city of Keizer is indeed collecting tax money from its lone hotel and is using that money for several items.
Earlier this year the owners of the Renaissance Inn declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sold the hotel to Keizer Hotel Corp. The new owners took over in June and have been paying Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to the city.
When there was uncertainty over the TOT funds being received, members of the Keizer City Council prioritized a list of items typically receiving that money. With TOT funds now coming in, councilors revisited the list during Monday’s meeting.
The top priority was a $10,000 grant to the Keizer Chamber of Commerce for new holiday lights, followed by $5,000 for December’s Festival of Lights Holiday Parade.
“The first priority was to order holiday lights,” said city manager Chris Eppley, who filled in for finance director Susan Gahlsdorf at Monday’s meeting. “No other money is being spent until more revenues are received.”
Though she was absent Monday, last week Gahlsdorf told the Keizertimes the hotel is legally required to collect the TOT funds and remit to the city. Because that has been happening since new owners took over, Gahlsdorf said there is a “reasonable chance” to collect the funds.
“We do not know at this point what we will receive for the year,” Gahlsdorf said. “TOT revenues are based on occupancy and paid quarterly. Our next payment will be based on July through September occupancy and we know the hotel has accommodated several events during those months. We received about $40,000 last year so I would expect to receive about that same amount this year. The amount missed during the bankruptcy period was paid when the hotel was acquired and is part of last year’s revenue.”
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