ANAHEIM : City Tentatively OKs Hotel Tax Increase

A 2% increase in the city's tax on hotel and motel rooms, which will pay for a $12.5-million expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center, was given preliminary approval by the City Council Tuesday.

The unanimously approved measure, which is expected to receive final approval next week, will increase the transient occupancy tax from 11% to 11.6% on Feb. 1 and to 13% on Dec. 1, 1993.

City officials estimate the tax increase will raise an extra $680,000 next year and $1.55 million a year after December, 1993.

Construction on the expansion is scheduled to begin in March. A 150,000-square-foot exhibition hall will be added to the convention center, for a total of 374,000 square feet of exhibit space.

The expansion would keep the city on a par with proposed or completed convention centers in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Las Vegas, officials said.

The increase had the backing of the city's convention bureau and its major hotels. Bill O'Connell, a spokesman for the city's Best Western motels, said it had the support of smaller inns as well.

Because the measure preliminarily approved Tuesday is a tax increase, the council will have to approve it twice. A final vote is scheduled for next week.

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