Lodging tax bill moves through House on to Senate

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Pike County Commission’s proposed 4-percent lodging tax increase remains alive in the state Legislature.

The bill was entered by state Rep. Allen Boothe, R-Troy, who did so at the request of commissioners who were seeking a way to increase county revenues.

Boothe initially said he would not enter the local-private bill until the legislation received endorsement from officials with the City of Troy, which is home to the only hotels and motels that would be affected by the increased tax.

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The Alabama House of Representatives had its first reading of the Bill 691 on May 21 and it was passed through the House with a roll call vote on May 28. The bill was read Tuesday for a second time by the Senate and placed on the calendar.

While the bill still has a third reading pending for the 28th day of the Legislative Session, Boothe said everything was in order for it pass, especially with the bill going to the Senate with a favorable review from the Local Legislation committee.

The bill seeks to increase the existing 8 percent lodging tax. The current tax is divided equally between the state and the City of Troy. The additional 4 percent tax would be divided equally – at 2 percent each – between the City of Troy and Pike County, unless or until another municipality within the county adds a hotel to its tax base.

“It’ll be split between the entities where the lodging is located,” Boothe said.

“If Brundidge comes in, then it’ll be Brundidge. The revenue will be split between the county and the City of Troy right now, where most of the hotels are.”

Boothe said there had been a unanimous request from county and city officials to write the bill this way. Boothe said with the bill in the Senate now, Pike County residents should “stay tuned” for more information and the progress of the bill.

In a previous interview, District 6 Commissioner Joey Jackson said the county hoped to be able to use the additional revenues to offset costs to fix county roads as well as other projects the county might have. City and County officials have both said they would rather wait to comment on the bill pending its approval from the Senate.