Council OKs hotel tax increase

Published 3:46 pm Friday, January 18, 2013

Travelers will soon be paying a little extra for a night’s stay at a Greenville hotel.

At Monday’s Greenville City Council meeting, officials approved a $1 increase on the city’s hotel and motel occupancy fee tax.

The revenue generated from the tax increase will go toward funding the Butler County Commission for Economic Development, according to Mayor Dexter McLendon.

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“This money is going to be used for different events that will bring people to town and put more people in our hotels,” McLendon said.

According to the ordinance passed by the council, the funds will be distributed to the BCCED to be used for tourism, event planning, and purposes to provide for additional traffic and hotel occupancy in the City of Greenville.

Last year, the hotel and motel occupancy fee tax generated $73,135.

“There is no guarantee that it will be double what it was last year,” City Clerk Sue Arnold said. “The only thing that is for certain is that it will be rooms rented times two. (The amount generated) all depends on the traffic based on economy, gas prices, unemployment rate, etc.  We hope to improve our traffic with the new event planner Jacob Morgan working toward this end.  Greenville has lots to offer and we’ve just got to get folks here to enjoy it.”

McLendon said for him, it all comes down to jobs.

“We believe this will eventually help bring more jobs to the area,” he said. “I’ve talked with the owners of the hotels and they were very understanding.”

A dollar of the tax will be retained by the City of Greenville to help pay off the debt of the YMCA Park and Recreational Board, which was absorbed by the city by refinancing the debt through a general obligation bond issue.

The increase will take effect Feb. 1.