To the editor: The Alaska Travel Industry Association, the leading nonprofit membership trade association for the visitor industry in our state, and our more than 680 businesses and partners, opposes Ordinance No. 6084 as proposed by the city of Fairbanks mayor to raise the hotel/motel tax from 8% to 10.5% with the 2.5% increase going to city general services.
ATIA opposes the creation of targeted travel industry taxes unless initiated and/or supported by the travel industry. Because tourism is seen as an industry-focused on nonresident visitors, we are often targeted as an easy source of tax revenue. This unfairly puts the cost burden on individual businesses rather than balancing revenue generation across all sectors.
Alaska’s tourism industry creates jobs, invests in our communities and generates revenue from user fees, local property, alcohol and most recently, marijuana taxes. Raising the cost of doing business through industry-specific taxes is a disincentive to economic investment and growth.