Cuyahoga County pushes tax on free casino rooms

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio county is pushing a plan to raise $2 million annually by taxing hotel rooms the Cleveland casino gives away as perks to its high rollers.

Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County Executive Ed FitzGerald wants to apply the county’s 5.5 percent hotel tax to the rooms, on top of a 3 percent tax imposed by the city on free hotel rooms.

Northeast Ohio Media Group reports Friday (http://bit.ly/1bKZ0Y8 ) the proposal is aimed at Rock Ohio Caesars, which gives away as many as 100 rooms a night at its nearby Ritz Carlton hotel.

But the extra tax would also be levied on any hotel room given away for free in the county.

The casino does not oppose the idea, while the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association calls the move illegal and “unjust.”

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