Hotel-motel tax proposal needs more vetting - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

WLOX Editorial:

Hotel-motel tax proposal needs more vetting

A proposed hotel-motel room tax in Biloxi seemed to come out of the blue this week when the Biloxi City Council held a quick special meeting and passed it. Yes, we can understand the council wanting to find dollars to help the city's ailing economy. But we agree with Mayor AJ Holloway's veto of the measure.

First off some leaders in the hotel and hospitality industry said they needed to have input and discuss the issue with the council. They wanted more answers on how the collected taxes would be spent. And they have concerns that the added tax will drive away conventions.

The city council said it needed to vote on the issue this week so the legislature could consider it this session which ends in about two weeks. And, that the council would hold hearings before putting a tax in place.

We believe the idea shouldn't be rushed through to the legislature, that it needs to be vetted more and the people in the hotel-motel industry need input. Then if a hotel tax seems like a good idea, submit it next year to the legislature.

With the coast economy still recovering from Katrina and the recent economic downturn, now is not the best time to tax our visitors even more.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com, or post your comments below.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV General Manager

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