Legislation that would allow Springfield to ask voters for a lodging tax increase was pre-filed in the Missouri House and Senate.

Rep. Craig Fishel filed HB252 and Sen. Lincoln Hough filed SB47.

State law currently caps lodging tax collections at 5 percent, but lawmakers can make exceptions allowing local voters to decide if a higher amount can be collected. Exceptions have been made for other cities, including St. Louis, Kansas City and Jefferson City.

If approved, the city’s lodging tax will not increase; the bills simply allow the option of asking local voters if they want to increase the tax to pay for capital improvement projects, such as a convention center and/or sports facility, that can be demonstrated to increase overnight visitors in Springfield.

Passage of this legislation is a priority for the Convention & Visitors Bureau and other local entities.

The 2021 Missouri legislative session begins Jan. 6.