Duluth city council votes to reinstate a half percent tourism tax for city projects

By KBJR News 1

July 21, 2014 Updated Jul 21, 2014 at 10:07 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Duluth city council unanimously voted Monday night to reinstate a half percent sales tax on hotel visits, and food and drinks served at city restaurants and bars.

The previous sales tax expired in the fall of 2012.

It collected revenue from Duluth hotels and restaurants for the benefit of the DECC and the Lake Superior Aquarium.

This new tax will produce an estimated $1.4-million, each year.

$18-million dollars generated from the half percent tourism tax will be used to support expanded tourism in West Duluth.

$4.6-million generated will be matched with state bonding money for the revitalization of both Spirit Mountain and Wade Stadium.

"Wade... we've been for years trying to get Wade fixed. It's crumbling and it really is a showpiece for us. And if we could put more dollars into it we could have more tournaments, we could do so much more," said Duluth city councilor Linda Krug.

The improvements to be made support Mayor Don Ness's vision of revitalizing the Saint Louis River Corridor.

The ordinance will take effect 30 days from now.

The state legislature did authorize approval for this tax earlier this year.

The city council had the final say.

Elsa Robins