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Village Vision News

Trustees raise hotel/motel tax from 3 percent to 5 percent

Thursday, October 29, 2015

At the Oct. 19 board meeting trustees voted to raise the hotel/motel tax from the current 3 percent to 5 percent.

The tax is on overnight stays at hotels located in the village. The purpose of the tax is to promote tourism in the village and attract visitors to come to town to stay in local hotels, eat in restaurants and shop at the mall and other retail stores.

The tax had been suspended back in March of 2012 when some trustees were concerned with a growing surplus that, to the thinking of some, lacked a plan for how to spend the money. The tax was reinstated on Sept. 1, 2013 at the rate of 3 percent.

Not all trustees were in favor of the suspension back in 2012.

“I was on the board when it was eliminated, and I said then it was one of the wackiest ideas I’d ever seen,” Trustee Steve Hubbard said.

Trustee Jim Peck has been of the opinion for some time that the rate should be raised to match that of other cities in the region, adding that he’s almost always for putting the money back in the community.

“I’d be in favor of raising it from three to five (percent),” Peck said. “We’re below other communities.”

Trustee Dave Wendt was in agreement with Peck.

“You took the words right out of my mouth,” Wendt said. “I don’t think we’ll have the surplus that we’ve had before if there’s more people wanting to make use of the hotel/motel tax.”

Trustee Bob Gruenewald said he was hesitant to raise any tax and said he didn’t want to see a balance again.

Cindy Dulaney, who works in a corporate position for Tharaldson Hospitality Management, the owners of the new Residence Inn, said the tax is a positive.

“That money is used to help us,” she told the board. “It adds stability and is a positive for us.”

Steve Horve, owner of Homewood Suites, who was not at the meeting, was cautious about the rate being upped.

“Well it depends on what it’s being used for,” Horve said. “Nobody asked me about it, but you can’t compare what the rate is in other places like Springfield, Champaign and Bloomington because Forsyth is a small town.”

All votes were Yea; the motion carried. The new rate will be effective on January 1, 2016.

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