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Commissioners rethinking Innkeepers Tax implementation

By Marissa E. Lane, Staff Writer

The proposed Innkeeper's Tax was on the agenda again at the Union County Commissioners meeting on Monday, Nov. 6, but this time with some concern.

At the last meeting, the Commissioners agreed to accept a tax with a 5 percent rate for any lodging in Union County for less than 30 days with the hopes of using the revenue to help fund paying for the ambulance service. The ordinance and statute brought to the previous meeting were only drafts, which Auditor Gene Sanford apologized for. But after county councilman Chris Rosenberger found some potential issues with the suggested plan for the tax, the commissioners became more wary.

“I'm putting my opinion in on this, but it seems to be getting away from us,” said Sanford. “If you read through it, it can only be used for tourism.”

According to Indiana Code, the Innkeeper's Tax would also require the formation of a new commission to “promote the development and growth of the convention visitor, and tourism industry in the county.” While this commission would be able to contract out to others, like the Redevelopment Commission, it would be an additional cost in an effort to generate more revenue.

“I'll be honest, I don't like the way this thing is shaping up,” admitted Commissioner Alan Alcorn.

The proposed Innkeeper's task will be discussed in a public hearing at the next Union County Council meeting on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 9 a.m.