HANFORD – The Hanford City Council is moving forward with the idea of raising the hotel bed tax by 4 percent and devoting the increase to downtown revitalization efforts.
The council this week gave a thumbs-up to the concept of raising the tax from 8 percent, which it currently sits at, to 12 percent.
The extra 4 percent would go into a fund to support efforts to breathe new life into the downtown area.
The tax is attached to the bill travelers pay to stay overnight at Hanford hotels and motels.
In order to get the increase approved, two-thirds of Hanford voters would have to give the OK through an election or a mail-in ballot.
A mail-in vote could happen in August, according to City Manager Darrel Pyle.
"We can clarify that this is not going to be a tax [increase] that's going to be a burden on local residents," said Councilman Francisco Ramirez. "It will be on outsiders."
Pyle said revenue from the tax should climb as more hotel/motel bed space is added to Hanford.
A Home2 Suites by Hilton extended-stay hotel is under construction next to Denny's on Glendale Avenue.
Additional hotel projects have been proposed for Hanford.