Aldermen discuss tourism tax vote

By Daniel Brunty

The Winston County Journal


Aldermen discussed the upcoming vote for the tourism tax and other issues during their regular meeting on May 21.

Mayor Will Hill explained how he would like to get more information to the residents of Louisville regarding how the referendum will affect them and what these funds will be used for. He encouraged the local media outlets to get the word out about the tax.

The tax is projected to raise approximately $40,000 annually, which is earmarked for improvements to parks, recreation and benefit tourism and economic development. A tourism board would is in place to help decide how funds will be spent.

The measure must pass by 60 percent of the vote to become effective.

Hill said he would be meeting with hotels and their representatives about the tax. He also wanted to citizens to know the facts and data regarding other municipalities in the state who already have this tax.

The City of Philadelphia has had a 3 percent tax levy on Hotel/Motel rooms since 1999.

At least 71 other communities have in place a special levy similar to the proposed ‘bed tax” on the ballont on June 4.

Board members expressed excitement of having the tax put into effect, mainly because this tax would not affect the local taxpayer at all.

The board also briefly discussed the sales tax revenue at this time. The figures from 2012 at this time were $716,135.44. At this time, the city has collected $736,841.59. With a number of events going on before the end of the month, the revenue should increase.

In other news the board:

• Accepted application for use permitted on appeal for Tandreka Henton-Hunt for 302 South Jones for child care center and authorize notice for hearing and refer to Zoning Board.

• Accepted bids for supplies for 2013-2014 budget year.

• Adopted ordinance 360 changing meeting time for July 16 meeting to be changed to Tuesday, July 23 at 5:30.

• Approved payments for street repair to be paid from GO Construction Fund to Falcon Construction Company–$363,063.66.

• Approved payments for curb repair to be paid from GO Construction Fund to Deko-Crete–$2,395.00.

• Approved payment to Vescom for security at Natron Facility for $19,080.00 upon reimbursement from Natron.

• Set hearings for 11 unclean properties for June 18.

• Approved request for Charlie Black and Patrick Estes to attend Drug Identification Classes at RCTA on June 10-14. Registration, meals, and lodging are free.

• Approved request for Tonya McWhirter to attend the MS/TN DARE Conference July 8-12 in Gatlinburg, TN. Conference fee is $200, plus meals and lodging $614.10.

• Accepted police officer resignation for Chris Robinson effective May 29, 2013.

• Authorized payment of $2,436.00 to Butler/Snow from HB 1595 Department of Justice approval for the LOCAL OPTION TOURISM TAX.

• Transferred funds of $25,000 from accounts payable to E911 as budgeted.

• Approved proclamation recognizing May as Mental Health Month.

• Approved resolution recognizing and honoring Howard Marshall upon his retirement.

• Approved permission, per Woody Sample, to apply for ARC grant with an 80/20 match for Louisville Utility.

The Board of Alderman will have their next scheduled meeting on June 4.