Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Scottsboro City Council Meeting - Tax on Tourism October 19, 2015
(Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting and criticism - photo by Bologna B&B, Bologna Italy)
TAX-TAX-TAX-TAX A Tax on tourism is a tax that is applied unfairly, it is a tax without representation. Tourism taxes in Alabama are called lodging taxes.
Why is Scottsboro's Mayor wanting to raise tax on tourists? Have you ever heard the term, taxation without representation? State, local and county government "Lodging Taxes" are taxes on tourists. It is ridiculous, if you want to boost tourism say "NO MORE LODGING TAXES ON OUR VISITORS, we welcome tourists.
Whatever it's called, some call it an occupancy tax, room tax, bed tax, by the powers-that-be in the area you're passing through, it's a TAX tourists never got to vote on and a TAX that doesn't always benefit anyone, including the tourist.
The $10, $15 or more per night added to your hotel bill is probably paying a police officer's salary, paying down the debt, building a dog park, maybe tourism advertising, or paying salaries at the local Chamber of Commerce. Worthy endeavors, but why aren't the local citizens, footing the bill instead of visiting tourists? Tourists don't vote locally, they are passing through visitors and the voting booth was not a destination on their travel itinerary.
Anti-tax sentiment is on the rise, and cash-strapped cities whose actual debt is not fully disclosed to local citizens, the tourist is a local politician's dream come true - to hades with the concept of "taxation without representation. The tourist can be taxed, taxed, and taxed some more until the proverbial cows come home, with no consequences for elected officials, such as Mayor Potter.
When local government's officials impose tourism taxes on travelers, apparently they feel they don't have to answer to anyone politically. But to those who depend on the travelers for their business, it is not supported and it is bad for business. Mayor Potter and Scottsboro's City Council, might want to consider these issues.
If politicians want to raise taxes, do it fairly. For Scottsboro's Mayor Potter, he apparently does not believe in fairness. He was not in favor of a 1% county wide tax to continue county services where the county has lost 40% of their revenue over a 10 year period, now he wants to raise taxes on one of the largest industries supporting our economy, an industry where visitors staying in our lodges are taxed without any representation - TOURISM is big business for our area, taxing tourists in a scheme to raise revenue doesn't support tourism, nor concepts of fairness regarding taxation.
Lodging tax info from the State of Alabama - https://revenue.alabama.gov/salestax/sales/index.cfm?
CITY COUNCIL AGENDA