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Village Vision News

Trustees weigh bringing back hotel/motel tax

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mayor supports reinstatement, but others want specific plan in place

A decision regarding reinstating the hotel/motel tax may come out of the next village board meeting on Aug. 19.

The tax, which was suspended in March 2012, had been set at 3 percent on overnight hotel stays.

Trustee Bob Rasho, who was instrumental in suspending the tax, said at the Aug. 5 board meeting during a brief discussion on the topic that there needs to be a specific plan for what the money would be used for.

Rasho said that he is against collecting the tax just for the sake of building up reserves, noting that in the past the money had been spent “foolishly” at times.

“If you can tell me specifically how much we need and how much we’re going to raise,” Rasho said, “then I’ll vote for it.”

Trustee Steve Hubbard agreed with Rasho that the record of spending from of the fund was not always what it should have been, but he indicated the time to reinstate the tax had come.

“With sales tax revenue down month over month,” Hubbard said. “We need to be proactive to get people here to spend money at the mall, restaurants and gas stations.

“Three percent will help. (We should) start small.”

Mayor Marilyn Johnson, as she has stated publicly on many occasions, said she’s for bringing the tax back because, she said, “there’s so many ways we can use it for Forsyth.”

Trustee Dave Wendt said that he agreed with the mayor, adding that he didn’t believe reinstating the tax at the rate of 3 percent would be much of a burden to a hotel bill. He also said it would make it easier for the village to make more specific plans if there were specific funds coming in from the tax.

If the hotel/motel tax is reinstated by the board, there will also have to be a decision on what the rate should be.

By way of a reminder, the mayor had the last word on the topic for the evening: “That (hotel/motel tax) will be on the agenda in two weeks,” she told trustees and audience members at Village Hall.

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