Angry Lodging Owners Say NO to Tax Hike - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/30/04

Angry Lodging Owners Say NO to Tax Hike

"Your total is $252.52, and I'll just need you to fill out the top red portion and sign by the X," Chancis Dubard said.

As hotel clerk Chancis Dubard helps customers check in at the Best Western in Gautier, she knows putting a three percent tax on her motel could definitely put her business in the red.

"We would possibly lose business, so they don't feel that the tax would better the business here," Dubard said.

Although she thinks the tax could help the city of Gautier, she doesn't think the city should ask lodging businesses to foot the bill.

"We would love to see the community profit from that, but unless they are doing something to bring people to the area, it's not going to help us," Dubard said.

But city leaders say the tax increase would do just that, bring more people to the area.

"So it wouldn't cost our own citizens one thing, and we've gained that money which we would put forward in economic development," Gautier City Councilman Jim Savage said.

Savage said the city would raise about $30,000 a year from the tax, money the city could use to promote tourism.

"It's to put Gautier forward and to put us on the map," Savage said.

But Dubard still isn't buying this tax hike idea and hopes others follow her lead.

"Hope you enjoy your stay," Dubard said, as she gave customers their room keys.

This is the fourth time the city of Gautier has tried to raise the bed tax. The other three attempts failed in the state legislature.

By: Claire Nelson

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