The November 2020 Ballot will include Ballot Measure 6-185, which will authorize Coos County to collect local short-term lodging tax on hotels, campgrounds, vacation rentals, RV parks, and other short-term lodging properties within a proscribed area surrounding the unincorporated fishing village of Charleston, OR. This area is a popular tourist destination on the Southern Oregon Coast. Currently, there is no local short-term lodging tax in the Charleston area.
This tax is collected from visitors to the area staying in commercial lodging properties and all funds remain with entities within the county as noted below.
The proposed Short-Term Lodging Tax of 9.5% will mirror the tax imposed by the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend, and allow the Charleston Area to participate in tourism promotion of the area conducted by the Coos Bay-North Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau.
Under state law*, this tax funding will provide the following benefits to the community of Charleston and the tourism industry which is so important to the economic vitality of the area:
1. Improve the Visitor Experience & Charleston Visitor Information Center
31% of the funds remitted to the county will be provided to the Charleston Merchants Association to be used to improve the visitor experience and the visitor information center, including the purchase of property and contracting for the building of a new facility in a more visible location along Cape Arago Highway in Charleston. Funds will also cover the cost of managing the facility and debt service on the facility.
2. Participate with the Coos Bay-North Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB)
39% of the funds remitted to the county will be provided to the VCB to be used toward marketing, advertising and promoting the Coos Bay, North Bend & Charleston areas as a tourism destination. The VCB has promoted these areas for decades without any participation from the Charleston area. This additional funding will allow the VCB to increase its promotion and marketing of events and outdoor recreation activities. More marketing efforts encourage more visitors to travel to the area to attend local events, participate in recreation, dine in local restaurants, and spend money in Charleston’s quaint shops.
3. Coos County Public Safety and Code Enforcement
30% of the funds remitted to the county will remain with Coos County to be used for (1) enhanced public safety and code enforcement in the Charleston area and (2) enhanced public safety and code enforcement in the County as a whole.
The area included in this taxing district include the unincorporated area of the fishing village of Charleston, OR, plus the area along Cape Arago Highway from the Coos Bay City Limits line (Empire District) to the north, Cape Arago State Park to the South, the Pacific Ocean to the West, and Seven Devils Road passed South Slough Estuarine Research Center to the East, within the red boundary lines on the image to the left.
*Under state law, 70% of the revenue remitted to the Taxing Entity from local short-term lodging taxes must be used for tourism promotion and tourism facilities with 30% of revenues remaining with the Taxing Entity, i.e. Coos County. Lodging properties retain 5% of tax collections for their administrative costs prior to remitting revenues to the Taxing Entity.
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