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Duluth City Council Gives Final Approval for Tourism Tax

Updated: 07/21/2014 11:10 PM
Created: 07/21/2014 11:06 PM WDIO.com
By: Zach Hammer
zhammer@wdio.com

The Duluth City Council cleared its final political hurdle to reinstate a half-percent 'tourism tax' on Monday night.

The unanimously-approved measure imposes the tax on hotel and motel stays, along with food and beverage purchases at bars and restaurants.

According to the resolution, the money collected will be dedicated to recreational and tourism-related activities to the west of 34th Avenue West - what the City has dubbed the St. Louis River Corridor. 

The City's website lists the following projects as possible targets for investment: 

• $1-2M for unfunded flood recovery and updates at the Lake Superior Zoo

• $1-2M for the Spirit Mountain Recreation Area

• $2.2M for Wade Stadium, State bonding match

• $3-5M for Improved River Access and Trails Improvements including:

    • Extension of the Western Waterfront Trail

    • Indian Point Park, expansion and improvements

    • Spirit Bay Park, expansion and improvements

    • Blackmer Park, expansion and improvements

• $2M for additional trail improvements and enhanced river access

• $1-3M for upgrades to neighborhood parks and community centers

Duluth's tourism tax expired about a year and a half ago -- it had been used to pay off now-retired bond issues benefiting the DECC and the Lake Superior Aquarium.

The Minnesota Legislature gave the Council authority to reinstate it during their 2014 session. 

The tax will take effect in 30 days.

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