OUR VIEW: Eating places are usually not affected by the brand new vacationer tax | Opinion

In an effort to introduce a 3 p.c tourism tax on motels, lodges and short-term leases, it was closely promoted, claiming that the tax wouldn’t have an effect on locals, solely vacationers. For it’s vacationers who, for probably the most half, keep in short-term leases or motels and lodges.

However that does not imply, in fact, that locals can be exempt from the three p.c vacationer tax if they need or are compelled to remain on the Laurel. As uncommon as it’s, since most Laurel residents reside in homes, trailers, or rental residences, it is nonetheless potential. The confusion is a matter of semantics.

If locals wish to keep at an area lodge and keep away from the three% vacationer tax, we welcome their journey to Ellisville or Hattiesburg for the evening – regardless that gasoline to get to Hattiesburg will price much more than a tiny tax.

The “overwhelming majority” – and maybe these are the phrases that needs to be used – of the vacationer tax can be paid by vacationers. One other broadly held false impression is that the vacationer tax will have an effect on eating places indirectly. That is merely not true. There isn’t any point out of an extra tax on eating places. In response to the authorized description of the measure, which was revealed 3 times on this paper and is offered to learn on “Do you approve or disapprove of the mayor and metropolis council of the Municipality of Laurel, Mississippi? levy an extra tax of three% on lodges, motels and short-term rental payments within the Metropolis of Laurel to advertise tourism within the Metropolis of Laurel.” There isn’t any ambiguity on this sentence and no point out of eating places.

There are additionally no exceptions for native residents who resolve to spend the evening in a lodge in the identical metropolis the place they reside. It will be an accounting nightmare, to say the least. However the impetus for passing this tax was to emphasise that usually those that would pay are guests. Judging by the variety of guests flocking to Laurel, there isn’t a scarcity of holiday makers.

We’re inspired that 73 p.c of those that voted understood the measure and did what was greatest for Laurel.


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