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Letter: Innkeeper’s tax to help bring visitors to county

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of Daily Journal.

Anita Knowles

Johnson County Council

White River Township

District 4

To the editor:

Yes, it’s that dreaded word, “tax.” The sad truth about the innkeeper’s tax (the tax paid when a hotel room is rented) is that we have this option before us just as all 92 counties in Indiana have, and yet our county has never adopted it.

Forget that 71 counties already have it. Forget that ALL the revenue goes back to our county. Forget that only visitors to our wonderful county (99.5 percent of hotel business is from out-of-towners) pay this tax. Why wouldn’t the Johnson County Council pass this innkeeper’s tax?

I urge my fellow constituents to let the county council know you support the innkeeper’s tax. It’s important to our county as an economic tool. All the hotel tax revenue generated from visitors to our hotels will go toward a tourism bureau guided by a tourism commission of appointed experts to oversee the bureau. The budget is approved by the county council.

Tourism, or destination marketing as it’s called today, is highly competitive even in our own state of Indiana. We pick up free brochures we find at the grocery, doctor offices, hotel lobbies, etc. How do we decide where to go for a getaway weekend or what there is to do while we are in another town? We search the web. Currently there is no website for showing people what to do or where to stay in Johnson County.

Johnson County has more than 200 attractions, and most are locally owned. We are missing out on this opportunity to help promote all our attractions, events and all there is to do in our county.

Promoting Johnson County will bring more tax dollars here, enabling more sales tax revenue which helps the local economy and ultimately helps the hotel business, too.

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