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Scottsboro City Council to hear proposal on increased lodging tax Monday night

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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) -- During its work session and meeting Monday night the Scottsboro City Council has plans to discuss increasing the city's lodging tax and also to hear a proposal on how that money could be spent.

The proposal is to increase Scottsboro's lodging tax by two percent. "We're at 12 percent currently, of which the city gets five percent and the chamber of commerce gets one dollar per night room fee," Mayor Melton Potter says.

This proposal has been under discussion for the last several weeks, since late last year. A committee was put together to decide what would be the best option for the city if the council decides to go that route. Monday night, those ideas would be presented to the council for its consideration. "The increased proposal is by two percent, so we plan on taking one percent and creating what we call a tourism grant," Councilman Brent Miller says.

Organizations and entities could take that money and use it for events that would generate visitors to the city.

"The other percent we would split, and give half a percent to the DRA, which is the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, and then half of a percent to the CDA, which is the Commercial Development Authority," Miller explains.

Those organizations would then invest that money into revitalization, creating a destination and growth for visitors. "All three of those would work together to help capture the additional dollars, so instead of having visitors, we now have tourists in town," Miller says.

These options are just a proposal and not concrete. The council would have to approve them and vote on the tax increase. The proposed additional tax is estimated to bring in $80,000 a year.

Council members say they are looking to discuss eliminating campgrounds from the proposed tax, so local residents wouldn't be affected.

The council is expected to vote on the proposal in the next weeks.