Hearing scheduled for increased tourism tax
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
The Chase County Commissioners will hold a public hearing Nov. 23 to hear testimony concerning the Chase County Tourism Committee’s request for the adoption of an additional two percent lodging tax for the creation of a Visitors Improvement Fund.
If approved following the hearing, the county will be collecting a five percent total lodging tax.
At present the county collects three percent from lodging taxes, with two percent of that being returned to the county. The Tourism Committee oversees that funding, using it for tourism promotion.
That amounts to about $8,000 per year, according to Committee Chairman Linda Pirog.
The money collected from the additional two percent tax will go into an Improvement Fund and can be built up until it can be used for infrastructure related to tourism.
The current three percent lodging tax, of which the county gets two percent, is used only for promotion, not infrastructure.
Pirog defined infrastructure as bleachers at the fairgrounds, an employee at the county museum or tourism attractions.
Pirog said the fund, through the state’s lodging tax law, has been an option available to counties for a long time. She added that 85 percent of the counties in the state collect the two percent tax.
The lodging tax comes from hotel or motel costs to visitors to Chase County.
The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in the commissioners’ meeting room at the Chase County Courthouse.