MACON, Ga. -- When out-of-towners come to Macon, they may soon realize their hotel bill is a little higher than normal. This as commissioners are considering raising the hotel motel tax to 8%.

As of now, the hotel motel tax is at 7%. But if it goes to 8%, Commissioner Virgil Watkins says based off last year's receipts, they are expecting $600,000 more.

Macon-Bibb county commissioners are considering increasing the hotel motel tax to reflect what most counties charge in Georgia.

Currently the money is divided up and given to Visit Macon, the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Douglas Theatre, the Sports Hall of Fame, the Macon Centreplex, Lake Tobosofkee Recreation Area and the general fund.

But Commissioner Watkins says if this ordinance passes, it would give money to all those and more.

"Our Tubman Muesum, the Museum of Arts and Sciences, and one of the new programs that we've discussed today is the Christmas lights display that's been happening on Poplar," Watkins said. " We are using it to generate funds for that."

This money would be divided equally.

"For the Tubman Museum and the Museum of Arts and Sciences to receiver about $200,000 a piece," Watkins said. "And to create a new tourism development fund that would allow new agencies new organizations, new ideas that promote about tourism money to compete annually for."

President of Visit Macon Gary Wheat says his organization promotes tourism here -- and hotel motel tax isn't the only way money comes in.

"Each day we are working 24/7, 365 days to make sure people are staying in hotels to generate that money," Wheat said. "And that 8% there is also a matching percentage of sales tax collected. So it also benefits the state government and our school system."

It's not clear if these organizations like the Tubman Museum getting money from this amendment would mean that they would forgo the money they normally get from the general fund. Commissioner Watkins says it's to be determined.

The next steps for this amendment is for the Operations and Finance Committee to discuss. They'll then bring a proposal to the committee of the whole.