A Republican lawmaker says a cut to the tax on hotel rooms could attract more budget-conscious travelers.

Senator Jason Priest of Red Lodge told a committee Wednesday that Senate Bill 385 reduces the state taxes on hotel rooms from 7 percent to about 5 percent.

The bill eliminates the portion of the tax that goes into the state general fund, and increases the portion earmarked for tourism promotion.

The lodging industry supports spending more of the money advertising Montana tourism, a program industry officials say has been successful in expanding visitation.

But Priest says he also wants to get rid of the portion of the tax used to buoy general state finances because some tourists might choose to go somewhere that has a lower room tax.