Purcell is one of just three municipalities along the I-35 corridor without a hotel/motel tax.

And the other two – Marietta and Thackerville – are covered by the 5 percent lodging tax assessed by Love County.

From Blackwell near the Kansas state line to Ardmore, a dozen municipalities along I-35 charge a lodging tax on travelers who choose to rest the night at local hotels and motels.

While Purcell has no such tax, that could change next month with a citywide election.

A proposition to approve a 5 percent hotel/motel tax here is on the municipal ballot on February 9. The measure is backed by the Heart of Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce and the City of Purcell.

If voters approve the measure, it will go into effect at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

Five percent is about average for lodging taxes along I-35, with individual rates ranging from 4 to 8 percent.

Blackwell and Perry each  charge 8 percent, while Ardmore’s rate is 7 percent.

The tax in Oklahoma City is 5.5 percent.

Coming in at 5 percent are Tonkawa, Moore, Norman, Goldsby, Pauls Valley and Davis.

Guthrie and Edmond are the lowest at 4 percent.

The upcoming Purcell election isn’t the first try to get a lodging tax approved.

Purcell voters nixed a 4 percent lodging tax in 2004 by a 600-vote margin. The measure had the support of 852 votes, but the “No” camp tallied 1,452.

The issue came up again in discussions in 2009 with a proposed 1 percent tax.

According to the ordinance approved by the council in 2020, Purcell residents with a permanent address and the state and federal governments will be exempt from the tax.

Revenue from the lodging tax will be earmarked for advertising and promoting tourism events and venues.

A yet-to-be-named Lodging Tax Committee will oversee the distribution of those funds.

The Heart of Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce will appoint three members to the committee. They will include a hotel representative, a merchant and chamber director.

The Purcell City Council will fill the remaining four seats, as follows: council member, Parks & Recreation employee, city manager and citizen at-large.

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