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Hotel assessments to begin again Sunday as city reestablishes Tourism Improvement District
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Hotel assessments to begin again Sunday as city reestablishes Tourism Improvement District

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Tulsa has its Tourism Improvement District back.

City councilors voted Wednesday to reinstate the 3% assessment on room stays in hotels with 110 or more rooms, effective Sunday. The assessment had been on hold since June 2019 after a Tulsa County District Court judge issued a temporary injunction halting collections.

When originally approved in late 2018, the TID was expected to include 39 hotels whose assessments would raise $2 million to $3 million a year.

The city expects about 30 hotels to be part of the assessment this time around but did not have an updated estimate of how much money it would bring in annually.

City officials and Visit Tulsa, the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s tourism arm, have argued that the TID would provide a much-needed source of revenue to bolster the city’s marketing opportunities and help make the city more competitive in attracting events to Tulsa.

Soon after the City Council first approved the TID in November 2018, it was challenged in court by John Snyder with TOCH LLC.

Snyder argued in part that the city had created an unconstitutional special law by setting the minimum hotel room requirement for participating hotels at 110, rather than at 50 or more, as he claimed was set out in state statute.

Snyder also argued that a majority of the hotels in the district had objected to being part of it.

TOCH won an initial victory in court when former District Judge Linda Morrissey ruled that the TID was invalid because it was created in violation of state law. But in October, the Supreme Court reversed Morrissey’s decision and sent the case back to district court for any remaining arguments.

In April, District Judge William Musseman found that the TID was created legally by the City Council and that it is constitutional and valid under state law.

Featured video: June 2019: Tulsa Regional Tourism president announces that Tulsa will host Ironman triathlon

Selected as one of four finalist cities in April, Tulsa now joins an exclusive group of 40 IRONMAN host cities. ELI LEDERMAN/Tulsa World

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