San Jose's major hotels are on the verge of seeking city approval to create an independent tourism board funded through a surcharge of between $2 and $5 per room, per night.

While the organization controlling the money would be known as the Tourism Improvement Business District, the bulk of the money would go toward luring conventions, shows and business gatherings into San Jose, something the San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau does now.

A separate entity to administer the funds is necessary to get around state laws that require voter approval of new taxes.

The plan calls for a flat surcharge on each room rented in the city's major hotels and - perhaps - in the smaller extended-stay lodgings and motels in the city. The fund could conservatively raise in excess of $1 million annually, supporters say, depending on the surcharge agreed on and how widely it gets applied.

"The hope is to get this in place by the end of the year," says John Southwell, general manager of the Hilton San Jose Towers and a member of the San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau board of directors.

Get the full story at San Jose Business Journal