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Seattle hotels to charge $2-a-night tax for tourism campaign

Staying at a hotel in downtown Seattle could get pricey. Hotel owners and city leaders on Tuesday announced an effort to charge guests more each night to help pay for tourism advertisement.
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SEATTLE -- Staying at a hotel in downtown Seattle could get pricey. Hotel owners and city leaders on Tuesday announced an effort to charge guests more each night to help pay for tourism advertisement.

The Seattle Hotel Association wants the city to pass a $2 a night hotel room fee. That's in addition to the 15.6 percent tax hotel guests already pay - one of the highest hotel taxes on the West Coast.

No more taxes. We have enough plain and simple, said Frank Albanese.

Albanese has owned a Local Color art cafe for eight years in Pike Place Market.

I think it's counter-productive, said Albanese. As a business owner, I think it can only create confusion and cause people to maybe look elsewhere. Not necessarily else outside of Washington, outside of the city of Seattle, said Albanese.

But Seattle hotels hope to generate $ 5 -$6 million for tourism advertisement and promotion. This comes after the state closed down its tourism office last month.

But for Albanese, $2 is too hefty a fee for his customers to pay.

If they increase it by another $2, I think we re just going to hurt ourselves in the long run, he said.

The Seattle Hotel Association said they hope the city approves the room fee before the end of this year. Then, the money collected would go to the Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau for tourism marketing.