The state released numbers for the local option meals and room taxes statewide on Monday, Jan. 6, and the Everett numbers for hotel room excise taxes skyrocketed from the previous quarter – and were up from zero just two years ago.
The excise taxes are local option taxes collected by hotel operators, and submitted to the state. The state releases the numbers for hotel excise on a quarterly basis, with those numbers being a good indicator of how a hotel property performed over the three-month period.
In Everett, the hotel excise jumped to $1.346 million in the last quarter of 2019 (October, November and December), which was up from $505,330 in the previous quarter. It was only the second quarter that Encore Boston Harbor had its operations running full-speed, and showed a remarkable improvement over the hotels first quarter of operations (July, August and September).
There are only two hotel operators in Everett, that being Encore and the EnVision Hotel. EnVision has been up and running for about 18 months now, and provided the City with about $100,000 per quarter in hotel excise before Encore opened in June 2019. That would roughly figure out to Encore accounting for $1.2 million of the latest quarter in excise tax – signaling that the hotel has been much busier than it was in the opening period for the resort.
In the fiscal year 2017, Everett had zero dollars collected the entire year for hotel excise – meaning that if the Encore casino continues to perform, it could be a new revenue stream of many millions of dollars coming into the City beyond the Host Community Agreement mitigation payments.
For comparison, the City of Chelsea collects on average around $600,000 per quarter in hotel excise, and it has five high-quality hotels now operating in that city.
For the meals taxes, the story didn’t seem to be so spectacular.
Like hotel excise, meals taxes can be used as a barometer for the health of restaurants in the city – particularly those at Encore.
In the last quarter of 2019, the meals taxes for Everett (which includes taxes collected from all restaurants in the city – not just Encore restaurants) was $345,441. That was up from the first quarter of Encore operations, when collections came in at $255,474. Prior to Encore opening, the City averaged meals tax collections of around $150,000 per quarter.
It was expected that meals tax collections would be much higher quarterly than they have come in so far.
•ENCORE MAKES SECOND HCA PAYMENT
In other news, Wynn Resorts made its second quarterly mitigation payment under the Host Community Agreement to the City on Dec. 31.
Everett Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas confirmed that Wynn Resorts issued the City payments of $5 million and $1.25 million, which are the quarterly amounts prescribed under the Agreement.
The next payment would come at the end of March.
The payments would total just under $30 million for the year.