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Grove Proposed Lodging Tax
GROVE, OK.--- Louann Ford is the general manager of Grove's Best Western Timberridge Inn. She says she's not confident a proposed 5% lodging tax will be able to help generate revenue for the city.
"Our tax is now 9.3% now anyway and that's one of the highest in the state to begin with, in sales tax. Then we tack on another 5%. So, if you were going to spend the night with us, you would pay 14.3% in tax," said Louann Ford, General Manager of Best Western Timberridge Inn.
Grove city leaders are hoping to use revenue from the tax to increase tourism. Funds from the tax would be used to plan more city events and complete city projects.
"Just trying to get the word out there and make sure that, you know, Grove is on their radar screen and bring to town, and help work with the different organizations in the community to make sure that maybe give them another avenue to promote their events," said Bill Keefer Grove City Manager.
The proposed tax will be on a ballot for the third time this November. Because it was defeated in previous elections, the city has made revisions to the tax.
"There was a lot of discussion about the tax itself and what was in the ordinance and things like that. And that's why we got the motels and motel owners here in town, and they're involved with it and get their input on it," said Keefer.
"The city manager has really worked hard to get out the things that the lodging industry did not like the last time that was in there. And now we no longer have to be concerned about RV's coming into town, for in the past we'd have to tax them also," said Ford.
Ford says the busiest months for guests at her inn are April through September. Considering the proposal is a forever tax on lodging businesses, hotels like hers could suffer during off-season months. If the city is able to increase tourism, the lodging businesses could eventually generate money, and that could help managers like Ford.
"If the committee to be set up, and the funds to be distributed through that committee for the different events and things that we might be able to bring into Grove, would be a good deal," said Ford.
Grove residents will see the tax on the November 4th ballot. If the hotel-motel lodging tax is passed, it would go into effect on January 1st, 2015.