Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien voiced a similar view.
“Our hotels charge $60 to $70 more than their competitors,” she said. “But if they choose to have high rates, that’s their business.”
No one from Haverhill’s Best Western or Hampton Inn attended the meeting to speak against the tax hike, unlike two years ago when representatives from both those hotels spoke against the measure prior to the council defeating it then.
Councilor William Macek voted against the tax hike two years ago, but for it last night.
“I intend to vote for it because the money stays local,” Macek said. “It doesn’t go to the state and it’s paid by transients,” he said of the local tax paid by hotel guests.
Haverhill generated $153,000 in the fiscal year that ended June 30 at the 4 percent tax rate.
Projections show raising the rate by 2 percent will increase the take to $231,000 in the new fiscal year.