Alexander: Why I Voted Against the Hotel/Motel Tax
State Representative for District 66, Kimberly Alexander, explains why she recently voted against the Douglas County hotel/motel tax increase from five to eight percent in this letter to the editor.
Letter to the Editor
There has been a recent push to increase the size of the hotel/motel tax in Douglas County from five to eight percent. I was the only member of the Douglas County delegation to vote against it. Throughout the campaign for my seat last year, I made it clear to every voter, and now constituent that I would not support any tax increases. I intend to keep my word, which is why I voted against this tax. I placed fiscal restraint and responsibility as the cornerstones of my campaign. In fact, the first bill that I sponsored as a member of the Legislature was HB 148 - the Tax Accountability Act. This bill has been praised by Democrats and Republicans for shedding a light on government spending and looking out for taxpayers.
I understand that other members of the delegation and county commission feel differently, but for me increasing taxes in an uncertain climate is not fiscally sound policy. Many will point to the fact that the hotel/motel tax may not directly affect Douglas County residents. I would point out that it could also have the opposite affect.
The County needs to attempt to maintain all efforts to increase local tourism. This includes having competitive pricing for lodging for these events. An increase of the hotel/motel tax may force potential tourist and visitors to choose to lodge outside the county limits when visiting Douglas County. I also have some concerns with how the money has been earmarked to be spent. Is a full time museum curator the best use of taxpayer money?
Our larger focus as a county should be on increasing job opportunities for the citizens of Douglas County. We need to work on bringing jobs back to the local community and decrease the percentage of Douglas County residents who live in, but have to work outside of the County.
State Representative, District 66