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August 24, 2023 City Council Regular Meeting
23. Authorize the City Manager to Execute an Agreement with the Savannah-Georgia Convention Center Authority for Hotel Motel Tax in Accordance with State Law O.C.G.A. 48-13-51(b).
Strategic Priority
Good Government

On May 25, 2023, Savannah City Council amended the Hotel Motel Tax ordinance by adjusting the rate from 6% to 8%. This action was permitted by the State legislators moving the City of Savannah into a new state authorization clause from O.C.G.A. 48-13-51(a) (3.2) into O.C.G.A. 48-13-51(b).


State law restricts how Hotel Motel Tax funds can be spent. The law mandates minimum and maximum spending requirements for defined uses. A minimum of 43.75% of Hotel Motel Tax revenue under the State authorization clause must be spend on Tourism, Conventions, and Trade Shows (TCT). This use requirement's definition includes Destination Marketing Organizations and Convention Centers and Authorities.  


Under this agreement, the Savannah Convention Center's share of Hotel Motel tax is adjusted from 13.5% to 14.0% and the Savannah Civic Center share of 3.2% is eliminated. These allocation adjustments bring the City of Savannah into compliance with O.C.G.A. 48-13-51(b).


The Savannah Convention Center Board approved and executed this agreement during their August 9, 2023 board meeting. The new 8% Hotel Motel tax rate goes into effect on September 1, 2023. 



Joseph Shearouse, Director, Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Exhibit 1: Savannah Convention Center HMT Agreement.pdf
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