Cobb County Considers Hotel Fee To Raise Tourism Funds

Roger Tutterow
Roger Tutterow

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan 26, 2016) — Cobb County wants to boost tourism advertising and have tourists foot the bill.

The proposal calls for charging an extra $3 per night at select hotels throughout the county.

That money would then be used to help promote tourism in Cobb County.

If approved, the idea is expected to raise about $5 million per year, and had been on the table long before the Atlanta Braves decided to move to Marietta.

"We had been trying to find a solution to try to find more tourism money, to my knowledge, for the past three to five years," said Dana Johnson, the director of Cobb's Community Development.

Johnson says tourism brought in nearly $3 billion into Cobb in 2014 and that's expected to rise to $4 billion by 2020.

Roger Tutterow, an economics professor at Kennesaw State University, says it could be a profitable to make money from outsiders.   

"It's an opportunity to raise tax revenue from individuals who are coming to visit in the region so there's always kind of a typical sense that you're exporting the taxation outside the county." A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Tuesday night. Cobb commissioners could make adjustments to the plan, but, if it is approved in its current state, it goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.