Scottsboro City Council to continue discussions on proposed lodging tax increase

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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) — The Scottsboro City Council will continue to discuss the proposed increased lodging tax.

During its work session and meeting Monday night the Scottsboro City Council discussed increasing the city’s lodging tax and heard a proposal on how that money could be spent

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 were presented to the council for its consideration. After hearing the recommendation, the council made a decision to continue the discussion with more suggestions.

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.

The recommendation by the committee would split that two percent in half to be distributed. “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 recommended, and not concrete.

Members of the Council asked if they do as recommended, that the funds be earmarked to the CDA and DRA so the Council can manage the expenditures.

Suggestions on those earmarks will be announced February first.

If the council decides to go forward with the recommendation, an ordinance will be drafted for the Council to review and potentially approve. That could be as early as February eighth, although if more discussion is needed, it will prolong the vote for additional weeks.

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.