HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle vetoed a lodging tax that other leaders wanted to use to pay for a new amphitheater in the north Alabama city.
The increase approved by City Council members would have added 1% to the city’s hotel and liquor tax. But Battle vetoed the measure Friday, saying the tax wasn’t needed and that it could hurt the travel industry at a time it’s suffering because of the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
Al.com reported that several hotel managers spoke out against the tax increase, particularly after the virus scare cost the city two large conventions this week. Pamela Williams-Gupton, sales manager of the Hilton Embassy Suites, said her downtown hotel lost $500,000 in revenues this past week.
Supporters said the $1.3 million raised annually would help pay off the $35 million cost of an amphitheater that’s planned to help expand the city’s entertainment offerings.