by Sarah J.F. Braley | February 26, 2016

According to the Register-Guard, a newspaper serving the Eugene, Ore., area, the Oregon House of Representatives has approved an increase to the state occupancy tax from 1 percent per night to 1.8 percent per night. The bipartisan vote was 37-20, with one more "yes" vote than was needed. The bill will now go to the Oregon Senate, which has little time to act before the legislature adjourns next week. 

The transient lodging bill, HR 4146, also changes how the moneys are distributed to the Oregon Tourism Commission, requiring the organization to spend at least 65 percent on state tourism programs; 10 percent on a competitive grant program for projects that might include tourism-related facilities and tourism-generating events, including sporting events; and 20 percent on a regional cooperative tourism program. 

Currently, travelers staying in Portland pay a total occupancy tax of 11.5 percent, with 5 percent going to the city's general fund, 1 percent to Travel Portland and 5.5 percent to Multnomah County.