2015 Legislative Overview
1. Support Liquor Law Reform
Recognizing that Utah’s liquor laws have a direct impact on tourism and convention industries in the state of Utah, the UH&LA supports reasonable reforms that make our state more hospitable to Utah’s guests. Specifically, the UH&LA supports the following modifications:
The UH&LA supports a comprehensive hotel liquor license that alleviates the need to apply and pay for several different types of licenses within a hotel.
The UH&LA supports a tweak in the law that would allow hotel guests to transport legally purchased beverages throughout the hotel. Currently, it is incumbent upon the hotel operator to police adult guests and regulate where they can and cannot carry a drink.
The UH&LA supports any reasonable modification to current liquor laws that allows industry to be more accommodating to those visiting our state so long as there is no concrete, measurable evidence that said change will adversely impact underage drinking or driving under the influence.
2. Ensure funding for the Tourism Marketing Performance Fund (TMPF)
In conjunction with our partners at the Utah Tourism Industry Association, we are committed to ensure continued support for tourism marketing. Specifically, the UH&LA will seek to obtain $18 million in funding for the TMPF to ensure that we showcase what Utah has to offer domestically and abroad. The UH&LA will also work with the Utah Tourism Industry Association to update the TMPF legislation to ensure it is maximizing return on investment.
3. Lobby for passage of the Tourist Oriented Destination Signs Legislation
Currently, federal highways designated as scenic highways do not allow businesses to erect any signs advertising for local businesses (such as hotels). This legislation will allow current signage to be used to advertise and give directions to tourism related industries.
Tax Exemption for Hotels Passes!
Senate Bill 84, a bill that exempts hotels from sales tax on consumables (soaps, shampoos, etc.), passed both the Senate and the House and awaits the signature of the Governor. The legislative fiscal analyst anticipates this bill will save hotels approximately $2.5 million annually. This is a huge win for Utah’s hotels and the Utah Hotel & Lodging Association is proud to have championed this effort. March 19, 2013
The Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee unanimously passed SB 84, which exempts hotels from sales tax on consumables purchased that are included in the purchase price of the room. February 26, 2013.