New Stream: City Goes from Zero To Multi-Millions in Room Taxes

As far back as one can search, zero is always the answer for how much hotel room excise tax comes to the City of Everett.

Every year in the state spreadsheets from the Department of Revenue for cities and towns collecting room excise taxes from hotels, Everett has always struck out – primarily because there were no hotel rooms here for decades.

As recently as 2017, Everett has nothing for the entire year.

However, new numbers for the first quarter of the state Fiscal Year 2020 (June to August 2019) show Everett collecting $505,330 in room excise taxes just for those three months, let alone the entire year.

The numbers from the state are the first to come out since Encore Boston Harbor opened for business and started letting out hotel rooms, joining the EnVision Hotel that started in 2018. As a baseline, the EnVision was providing about $105,000 per quarter in room excise taxes over the past several quarters. This time, Encore added another $400,000 – and prior to any major marketing efforts for the casino’s hotel and when it was at a vacancy rate of 69 percent. That means it would likely grow over time from the current mark – and that mark looks to provide Everett an additional $2 million in new revenues over the entire year.

Everett Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas said it is revenue that will only help the Everett taxpayer.

“It’s a very positive trend and signals Everett’s continued growth,” he said. “That new revenue stream provides another way to help relieve the burden on Everett property taxpayers…I’m very optimistic for the projections as Everett continues to grow.”

For the local meals options tax, which was instituted by the Everett City Council and the administration some years ago, the numbers released last week that include Encore’s restaurants indicate a $100,000 bump for the quarter.

The City received $255,474 for the quarter in meals taxes, and had a baseline of about $155,000 per quarter throughout 2018. By all accounts, Wynn Resorts has reported that the restaurants were not that strong, and they continue to tweak them to get more customers into the facilities.

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