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The City is Deliberately Misleading You

The City is deliberately misleading you about the room occupancy tax revenue.

Let's take a look through the city's last year CAFR:

http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/Portals/0/documents/Finance/Financial%20Repo...

Pg. 156 shows that the room occupancy tax generated less than $2.1M last year.

So, how can it legitimately jump from $2.1M to over $5M in a year? Because the City of Wilmington is deliberately trying to mislead everyone.

They use the term 'room occupancy tax' to refer to what should actually be called the 'room occupancy tax fund.' 'Room occupancy tax' is misleading because it would have you believe that all of the revenue is generated in a single year.

In reality, what they're doing is going into a savings fund. Before the convention center ever opened the city collected about $14M in ROT funds. They kept it in a fund dedicated for the convention center.

Because annual ROT revenues are NOT enough to meet the operating and debt service costs of the convention center, the city has to dip into that fund a little bit each year.

Two years ago it was $14M. Last year it was about $11M. See a trend? I'm guessing this year the total balance will be about $9M.

Don't let them fool you. When they say room occupancy tax will pay for it, what they're actually referring to is savings from the room occupancy tax FUND! The annual revenues are NOT enough to meet the costs.

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