‘Hotel tax’ plan for Sheffield

Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match during the Betfair World Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 6, 2013. See PA story SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match during the Betfair World Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 6, 2013. See PA story SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
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Sheffield’s hotels could be set for a continental-style ‘hotel tax’ – which would be used to fund improvements to the city centre.

Sheffield Council and business leaders are understood to be discussing the proposals, which could involve a levy paid by customers when they check out.

The money could be used to cover the cost of large events such as the World Snooker Championships, which alone takes up more than half of Sheffield’s major events budget as funding continues to shrink.

Sheffield Council spends £814,000 a year on subsidising major events, £458,000 of which is recouped in income - but leaving a £356,000 cost.

The Star understands there is a feeling within the council that because hotels in particular benefit hugely from events such as World Snooker that they should help contribute towards the cost.

Numerous places around the world, including Paris, Rome and Venice, as well as cities in the US, capitalise on their popularity with a hotel tax.

Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “Sheffield, like many other cities across the UK, is facing budget challenges to sustain and enhance major events and we need to look at how we can keep funding them.

“Sheffield Council, with its partners, is investigating a number of methods such as creating Business Improvement Districts which are partnerships within which businesses agree to contribute funding towards events that boost their own businesses.

“BIDs have been tried and tested in other cities and have successfully boosted business and trade.”