F’ville hikes transient tax 60%

Fayetteville will join a number of neighboring cities by increasing the hotel/motel tax to 8 percent. The additional funds generated over the current 5 percent rate will be used for promotional efforts and tourism development.

That represents a 60 percent increase in the tax rate paid by any who stay in local hotels and motels.

The 3-2 vote at the June 19 meeting had Councilmen Mickey Edwards, Ed Johnson and Scott Stacy voting in favor of the measure and Councilmen Paul Oddo and Jim Williams opposed.

Oddo after the meeting said, “We’re still in a recession so we don’t need to raise the tax now. We had also previously extended the (tax rate) from a two-week stay to a four-week stay. (Increasing the rate) sends the wrong message.”

Pertaining to his opposing vote, Williams said, “I am a firm believer in keeping taxes to a minimum. I think this is a bad time in our history to increase taxes.”

Community development director Brian Wismer in a previous letter said the hotel/motel tax rate has been maintained at 5 percent since 2001.

“In 2008, the state created an allowance for an 8 percent rate. Since that time, many of the surrounding communities have opted for the 8 percent rate to create funds for tourism development and promotion. Peachtree City, McDonough, Stockbridge and Clayton County are a few examples of those that have already implemented the 8 percent rate,” Wismer said.

Wismer said the tax would be applicable to the first 30 days of a hotel stay. He said implementing the 8 percent rate will allow the city to increase promotional efforts which attract travelers and tourists to stay in local hotels.

“It will also allow the city to create tourism development projects that will improve (Fayetteville’s) destination appeal to visitors,” Wismer said.

The difference in the percentage of tax over the current amount must be split, with a minimum of one-half going toward promotional efforts and the remainder being eligible for tourism product development, Wismer said.

Wismer said examples of eligible tourism projects include the new Ridge nature center on Burch Road operated by Southern Conservation Trust, the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife Museum and the amphitheater.

The ordinance requires that projects be identified and updated annually and be included in the annual budget process, Wismer said.

turtlejack
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More taxes - Less Revenue

The whole idea of a hotel/motel tax in general deters visitors and it's not like our local establishments are anywhere near full occupancy at any given time except when NASCAR comes to Hampton. Lower fees and taxes promote visitors and the City will get their $$$ when those visitors buy local goods, gas and eat at area restaurants. Then again, I can't help but cite the timing of this and growing anticipation that an economic windfall is coming due to Pinewood - or so everyone believes.

Husband and Fat...
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Turtle

I understand what you are saying about this. MLC doesnt like it either, but I think council made a good call. No one likes taxes, but I can see the other side.

I have been travelling for work and pleasure for 25 years. Never once have I selected a hotel based on a local tax. I certainly check total costs, but location , safety, and cleanliness also play a larger role in my selection of accomodations than the local tax.

Fayetteville has a captive audience. If one doesnt like the tax they can certainly go north into the safe heavens of Clayton, or drive eastward a while into Henry County. Or perhaps south into Griffin, or west into PTC or further into Newnan.

Time and distance away from everyones intended destination also has a value to people too.

Perhaps this will trigger the local hotels and motels to step up their game to compete for the influx of transients.

Husband and Fat...
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Transient

Transient sounds like we have hobos staying in the fine city of Fayetteville.

How about Guest Tax or Visitor Tax?

It sounds more welcoming than transient.

moelarrycurly
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Call it what it is

The term is Hotel/Motel tax.

Transients, guests and visitors do not pay it, unless staying in a hotel. People or businesses who pay for hotel or motel room stays pay it.

The absurdity is the 63% increase and the reasoning given as "others have done it, so we should, too." Thanks to PTC's absurd increase last year, which Fayetteville is now piggybacking on. Jim Williams and Paul Oddo had this one right.

Transients does have a negative connotation. Of which Fayetteville will be seeing more of in the coming years.

Husband and Fat...
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Moe

I don't have an issue with this. In fact I think it's good. I have never not made a reservation due to a tax rate. The rate is important, location to my desired visit, but also cleanliness and safety.

If the hotel isn't full, most lower rates to help fill them. If occupancy's are up, then it's good and more businesses pop up.

Think of it as a permanent splost where out of towners pay for our stuff. Isn't that was what Mr. Brown was writing about last week.

moelarrycurly
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H&F

You logic is flawless. Breathtaking, actually. Please run for office.

I do not know what Mr. Brown wrote about last week (Steve Brown?).

Correction on my previous post..meant to say 60%, not 63%.

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