A board that will own and operate the Dayton Convention Center has approved imposing a new 3% tax on hotel and motel stays in Montgomery County to help upgrade the aging downtown event center.
The new countywide lodgings tax will help pay for millions of dollars in renovations to modernize the convention center, which is nearly five decades old and has fallen into disrepair and has significant deferred maintenance needs, officials say.
Supporters say the Convention Center is vital to the regional tourism industry and facility improvements will make it more of a destination and increase its competitiveness to help attract more events and visitors.
Dayton to give up ownership of convention center
On Thursday, the convention facilities authority board of directors unanimously voted to approve a new hotel lodging excise tax.
A month ago, the board decided to table a vote on the proposed additional tax levy, saying they wanted more time to review pertinent information and the proposed code of regulations.
The 3% tax will apply to the 71 hotels and motels located in Montgomery County. Combined, they offer nearly 6,700 rooms, officials say.
The new tax applies to any establishment that rents out five or more rooms in the county, officials say.
Montgomery County already has a 3% lodging tax that funds the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau and other entertainment-related activities. Dayton, which currently owns the convention center, has a 3% tax that is put toward the facility, but the revenue consistently fell short of covering operating costs.
Montgomery County’s 3% lodgings tax generated about $3.6 million in 2019.
The three-story convention center was built in 1972, and it also has a front and rear addition that were constructed in 1986, featuring meeting and support spaces.
The center offers a large exhibit hall, multiple ballrooms, meeting rooms, a theater, offices, skywalk and other amenities.