The Sterling, Colo., city council has tabled action on a proposed city lodging tax after the issue again dominated talks at the regular meeting of the council Tuesday night (May 24), the Sterling Journal-Advocate reported.
The proposed lodging tax would impose an additional tax on visitors to area hotels, motels and lodges. The city tax, most likely to be at 5%, would replace the 1.9% tax currently imposed by the county. The council has been considering taking this change to the voters on the Nov. 1 ballot.
Owners and operators from several local establishments, including the Ramada and Buffalo Hills RV Park, came to express their adamant opposition to putting the proposal of this tax to the voters.
Lana Hahn, general manager of the Ramada, expressed concern that the tax would actually do damage to the various businesses that it is being said it will help. She argued that the businesses who would be required to impose this tax on their customers would ultimately have very little say in how that money was being spent.
Chris Vandemoer, owner of the Buffalo Hills RV Park, agreed with Hahn, stating that those being taxed and businesses that would be most affected by this tax would not be fairly represented in the spending of the monies. His concern was that while city beautification may help businesses in downtown Sterling, it would have little affect on lodging establishments near the interstate, where most of the revenue from the tax would come.
Tara Barlean, from the Logan County Lodging Tax Board, stated her opposition to the tax on the grounds that there is no plan in place for exactly how the money will be used. She also expressed concern with the implementation of a tax without proper consideration of other options for funding beautification projects.