Evanston’s City Council gets a report on the city’s hotel tax tonight requested by an alderman who wants to see the tax expanded to cover bed and breakfast establishments.

Evanston now imposes a 7.5 percent tax on hotel rooms, but its ordinance — unlike those in some other communities — doesn’t define bed and breakfast establishments as one of the businesses covered by the tax.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, asked for the report.

The city anticipates raising $1.6 million this year from the tax.

With about 10 bed-and-breakfast rooms now approved in the city, assuming a $100 a night room rate and 50 percent occupancy level, expanding the tax might bring in an extra $14,000.

Evanston’s 7.5 percent tax rate is now apparently the highest on the North Shore. Northbrook charges 5.5 percent. Skokie charges 3.5 to 6 percent, depending on the hotel’s size. Glenview charges 6 percent and Prospect Heights 5 percent, based on data from the Chicago’s North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The total tab in Chicago, which has four separate taxes on hotel rooms, adds up to 10.4 percent.

All those municipal tax rates are in addition to a 6 percent state hotel tax.

The total tax on hotel rooms in Chicago is reportedly the eighth highest in the nation.

Update 7/16/13 10:25 a.m.: Aldermen voted unanimously Monday night to have staff draft an amendment to the hotel tax ordinance that would make bed and breakfast operators collect the tax.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. What does Skokie do?

    For years friends who even had lived lived in Evanston, when they would come back for visits, conferences, job related business even in Evanston, would stay in Skokie hotels instead because of the cost differential—even when a business expense.  A difference in tax would be another problem.

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