Lodging tax will increase 6 percent

Published 10:41 pm Thursday, March 2, 2006

By By Adam Prestridge
In an effort to keep pace with the times, the Atmore City Council unanimously voted to increase the city's lodging tax at Monday afternoon's council meeting.
The recommendation was brought forth by the Industrial Development Authority, which compared Atmore's 2 percent lodging tax with Montgomery's 8 percent tax and Mobile's 8 percent tax.
"In reviewing our tax structure, our lodging tax had not been addressed in a number of years," mayor Howard Shell said. "The recommendation was made by the Industrial Board to the city council that the tax be brought up to the levels of Montgomery and Mobile. Acting on their recommendation, we are going to adjust the lodging tax to 8 percent. It will be effective after a notice is placed in the paper and the owners of lodging establishment are notified."
Not only will the increase bring the city's lodging tax in conformance with larger municipalities along Interstate-65, but it will also help generate additional revenue for the city, which will help offset some of the expenses incurred from increases in services.
"Cities incur cost increases in way of services," Shell said. "Our services continue to increase and we have to stay up to date with our revenue sources in order to keep up with these."
Such increases include fluctuating gas prices, repairs to vehicles and tires.
The extra revenue generated from an 8 percent lodging tax is well received.
"Any time you do any increase whatever you get will help in a positive way and it keeps you from placing a burden on one party," Shell said. "We will eventually look at other methods of doing cost saving measures as well as revenue sources."
According to Shell, Atmore's two percent lodging tax was in place for more than 20 years.
In other business, the council:
"It is attempt to reduce the excessive speeding that occurs in this area," Shell said. "Not only will stop signs be installed, but we will also place reflectors in areas that we feel they can be safety factors."
In the past month, three accidents have occurred along Forest Hill Drive, more commonly referred to as Roller Coaster Road, one of which claimed the life of 7-year-old Macey Amerson.
Residents of the area have been complaining for years about speeders in their neighborhood. Recently, the council voted to lower the speed limit to 35 mph in hopes of slowing motorists down, but it seems to not have worked.
"If we don't do something, we're ignoring a problem," Shell said. "We're going to do this to see if we can help the situation. We want to help solve the problem."

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox