by Sarah J.F. Braley | February 01, 2017

A bill to impose a $2 per night fee on hotel rooms in Atlantic City is advancing in the New Jersey State Assembly. Bill A5446, introduced Jan. 23, has been approved by the Assembly's appropriations committee by a vote of 8-0. The proposal will allow the fee on hotel rooms in "municipalities that levy a retail sales tax pursuant to P.L.1947, c.71, which is only available to fourth-class cities." Atlantic City is the only city in the state that imposes this retail tax and would be the only city allowed to charge the additional $2 fee.

Atlantic City's current occupancy charges break down like this: luxury tax, 9 percent; sales tax, 4 percent; occupancy fee, 1 percent; tourism-promotion fee, $2 per room for casino hotels, $1 per room for noncasino hotels. The total tax on hotel rooms is 14 percent plus the tourism-promotion fee. 

According to the Star-Ledger newspaper, Bob Marshall, who provides support for the Greater Atlantic City Chamber's business advocacy and issues-management program, and monitors legislative and regulatory matters that impact Chamber members, is against the proposed fee. He testified against it, saying visitors to the city already pay high taxes on the rooms.

Money raised by the $2 surcharge would fund public-safety services. The bill must be passed by both houses of the Legislature and be signed by Gov. Chris Christie.

Find the A5446 here.

Photograph by iStockphoto.com