Last year, a bill was introduced at the District Council that would seek to develop medium-priced hotels in the New York Avenue corridor. The “New York Avenue Gateway Hotel Development and Financial Services Act of 2013” would provide for property tax abatements and exemptions for the construction of new medium-priced hotels in the corridor.
In September, the Council held a hearing on this bill, at which Solomon Keene, HAWDC’s President, testified in opposition. While HAWDC supports the development of new hotels in the District and values the economic benefits that hotel development brings, including tax revenue, job creation, and community revitalization, the bill if passed would have unintended consequences that would negatively impact our industry, as well as the city as a whole. After the hearing, HAWDC remained steadfast with continued discussions with Councilmembers regarding our concern about the bill.
In late November, the Council’s Chair of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, who had oversight of the bill, tried several times to move the bill out of Committee, but was unable to. Due to the upcoming end of a Council Period, with the failure to vote on this bill at this time, the bill will die and cannot be voted on in its current form. In January, a new Council Period will begin, and HAWDC will continue to monitor this legislation to see if it is re-introduced. As customary, we will update Members accordingly.