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Letter: Visitors bureau needed to enhance community

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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.

To the editor:

When considering the proposed innkeeper’s tax to fund a local visitors and convention bureau, the Johnson County Council must answer two questions.

First: Is this a sound public investment?

Overwhelming research provided to the council shows this minimal outlay would produce significant dividends in local business income, jobs and retail tax revenue.

Public funding of a county visitors and convention bureau has been proven successful for decades in Indiana and throughout the country. If it wasn’t, the hotel lobby would have never asked the Indiana General Assembly to approve this finance mechanism for destination marketing.

The hotel industry also is very aware of two independent studies showing a visitors tax does not diminish room rate or keep customers away.

Second: Do council members want a great community, or are they content with status quo?

Community leaders — from small business, health care, manufacturing, nonprofit organizations, local government and education — have come together in the past year and identified pathways to making Johnson County a greater place to live, work and play.

A Johnson County visitors and convention bureau has been cited as a critical catalyst to future economic development.

Approving an innkeeper’s tax would prove that the Johnson County Council is business savvy and shares this vision of a greater community.

Jeff Owen


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