Montreal hotels offer tax rise to save GP

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Montreal is desperately trying to save its Grand Prix in 2009. Part of a new deal on offer is the suggestion of local hotels to up the occupancy tax and thereby raise $5 million, Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay has confirmed. In total, the city need to find approximately $30 million.

Tremblay also noted that it is up to the federal and provincial officials to decide how much of the $15 million they already receive in tax revenue from the event might be invested to keep the race here.

"I think we need an answer very soon," the Mayor said, referring to the final version of F1's 2009 calendar expected in December.

"We need to know if we're going to have a Grand Prix in 2009. We're trying to find a proposal that will meet with the approval of (F1 chief) Bernie Ecclestone and his board of directors.

"He's not interested in where the money's going to come from, he just wants to get the money to which he thinks he's entitled."

Ever since Bernie Ecclestone dropped Montreal from the 2009 calendar, Canadian officials are trying all they can to save the Grand Prix. It emerged yesterday that Montreal hotels would be willing to see the occupancy tax raised from 3% to 4% if that could save the race in 2009 and beyond.

Source: Montreal Gazzette