Commisioners lobbying for lodging tax increase

Published 3:00 am Friday, March 20, 2015

Pike County Commissioners took their concerns to the state Legislature this week.

Administrator Harry Sanders said he, county attorney Allen Jones and four commissioners traveled to Montgomery for County Day on Tuesday.

“We spoke to them about all the legislation to applies the county,” Sanders said.

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Top on that list is the proposed 4-percent increase in lodging tax, which would require legislative action to get the measure before the public for a vote. Commissioners have proposed increasing the tax from 8 to 12 percent, with the additional revenue going to the county and the City of Brundidge.

Commissioner Joey Jackson said the commissioners came home with less than great news.

Jackson said the commissioners had been told by Rep. Alan Boothe that he would take no action on the bill until the City of Troy had weighed in on the decision.

“Until the city has the resolution on their agenda, then Boothe is not going to go for it,” Jackson said. “If they don’t have anything about the lodging tax then they’re not going to support it. They figure all the hotels are in the city of Troy and they might be trying to reserve the revenues for themselves.”

Jackson said commissioners had hoped to have the lodging tax to offset shortfalls in the budget. He cited specifically the gas tax revenues, which fund roadwork.

“They created the 4-cent tax to work on our roads in 1993,” Jackson said, adding that the revenues have not held pace with increases due to inflation. “It’s 2015, and we are able to do 55 percent less than what we were doing then because of the inflation to the materials, cost and everything else.”

Jackson said the process had been disheartening, but hoped for better news soon concerning the lodging tax bill.