County to consider bed tax hike

Pinki Jackel

Pinki Jackel

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 11:17 AM.

A referendum to double the county’s 2 percent bed tax appears to be headed for the November ballot.

At the July 1 county meeting, Tourist Development Council (TDC) board members Paul Parker and Walter Armistead requested the proposed increase be placed on the regular ballot to save the cost of a special election.

Last September, back-to-back motions by Commissioner and TDC Chair Pinki Jackel, to double the county’s bed tax and then to increase it by just 1 percentage point, both died for lack of a second.

At last week’s meeting, commissioners voted 4-1 to place the question of doubling the tax to a public referendum, with Commissioner Noah Lockley opposed. The discussion was then tabled while the TDC considered the referendum.

At the same meeting, Lockley moved to bring the administration of the TDC in-house, but the measure failed by a 2-3 vote, with Commissioners Cheryl Sanders, William Massey and Jackel opposed.

On July 1, Jackel told commissioners the TDC board had voted unanimously to request the referendum be placed on the November ballot.

Parker told commissioners the increase is needed to end the off-season and make tourism a more sustainable industry in the county. He said with increased tourism, more people would be employed fulltime.



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