Panama City Commissioners Approve City's Hotel and Motel Bed Tax

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PANAMA CITY-- Panama City Commissioners approved the proposal to require the city's hotels and motels to collect a 5 percent bed tax.

The taxing district would be the same as the city limits, and would be a part of the overall Bay County Tourist Development Council, which already oversees the bed tax districts in Panama City
Beach and Mexico Beach.

The city organized a committee to study the tax proposal.

That committee estimated the tax would raise about $3 million in revenue in its first two years.

That money would go to market Panama City as a tourist destination,.

"What's important is that you never want to put extra expense on your citizens, so one is how do we identify our city, how do we promote our city and all its assets and we want those tourists to come and spend their dollar in Panama City. Doing that you would put it on a bed tax which is the visitors will be paying for that," said Mike Nicols, Panama City Commissioner.

As soon as commissioners pass the proposal, the city attorney contacted TDC members at their meeting, who also approved the plan.

It now goes to Bay County Commissioners.

If they approve, they would schedule an election for Panama City voters to decide.