Raising Ocean City’s room tax is apparently on the minds of some Ocean City officials, as they started a long discussion on raising it, but industry members cautioned that doing so could alienate its customer base and resort hotels.
During Monday’s Tourism Commission, Councilwoman Mary Knight sought the opinions of the Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association and the Ocean City Chamber of Commence on raising the room tax from 4.5 percent to 5 percent by summer 2018.
Wildwood and Myrtle Beach have 13 percent room tax, she said, while Atlantic City has the same tax plus a $5 per night charge and Virginia Beach has a 14 percent tax and a $2 per night charge.
“We feel that it wouldn’t hurt competitively,” Knight said. She added that the city’s staffing levels remain significantly less than they were when the room tax took effect in 2009, while the city’s revenues also declined despite the need to maintain the same levels of service.