Embassy National Bank opposes Georgia hotel room tax

Embassy National Bank is urging Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to veto or to amend the recently-passed Transportation Bill (HB 170) that would impose a $5 tax on every night of every hotel stay in the state, effective July 1.  

The community bank, based in Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville, is using its website -- www.embassynationalbank.com -- and social media sites to reach small business owners and state residents. The bank is one of the largest SBA lenders in the southeast and its customers include many hotel owners in Georgia.  

“This $5 per night tax will discourage groups from choosing our state for their meetings and conventions,” said Nitin Shah, chairman and CEO of Embassy National Bank. “It will be a crippling set-back for an industry that is still recovering from the 2007 recession.”

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The $5 tax will be charged equally for a $35 budget hotel room and for a $1,000 luxury suite. The vast majority of rooms in Georgia are priced at $75 or less, according to Shah.

Hospitality has an annual economic impact on Georgia of about $55 billion in sales.  It employs almost 60,000 people at about 1,850 lodging properties that together have some 168,000 hotel rooms.

Established in 2007, Embassy National Bank has grown to $74 million in assets and is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).