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Marlborough hotels tax increase approved for economic development in 2011

Marlborough, MASS. November 24, 2010 – Marlborough’s City Council has approved a two percent increase in the hotel occupancy tax within the city. The vote was passed 7 – 4 on November 22. The increased tax will generate between $400K and $500K and will be targeted for economic development spearheaded by the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

At present the Marlborough hotel rooms tax is 9.7%, with 4% collected by the city. The proposal approved by the council would increase the tax to 11.7% with 6% allocated to Marlborough. The city has averaged about $1.1M per year in revenue from the hotel tax at the current 9.7% rate.

Currently, Massachusetts levies a 5.7% room occupancy tax, and allows up to an additional six percent to be levied by cities and towns. Neighboring cities and towns that have voted for the added rooms tax include Auburn, Framingham, Hudson, Natick, Shrewsbury, Westborough and Worcester.

City Council president Arthur Vigeant championed the Marlborough hotel rooms tax increase proposing that most of the extra money be allocated to MEDC to support its efforts to bring more business to the city. “We want 2011 to be the Year of the Plan, the year that Marlborough’s citizens develop and commit to a 10-year plan that will preserve stable residential tax rates while building an increasingly vibrant, diverse and healthy community. Marlborough has an extraordinary opportunity to secure a regional leadership role in defining and developing economic activities that will directly benefit the City and shape its future opportunities.” Vigeant will be filing a home rule petition asking the state legislature’s approval to dedicate the revenue generated by the tax to the MEDC.

MEDC Executive Director George Ciccone believes “The creation of a dedicated source of funding for economic development activities in the City demonstrates that Marlborough is serious about its future development and willing to make the kind of investment necessary to ensure that future. As a result of the City Council’s vote, MEDC is planning for a very busy 2011 including the completion of an economic development master plan for Marlborough, expansion of our outreach and marketing activities and the building of working partnerships with other community organizations.”