Murfreesboro studies new tax

Published 10:14 am Saturday, November 8, 2008

MURFREESBORO — Leaders here are studying the possibility of levying a hotel occupancy tax.

At a recent Murfreesboro Town Council meeting, a public hearing was set for Tuesday, November 11 at 1 p.m.

The hearing was set to take public comment regarding a possible three percent hotel/motel occupancy tax. A public hearing must be held before the town moves forward with submitting an occupancy tax request to Senator Ed Jones.

The tax would be levied on any “room, lodging or accommodation furnished in a hotel, motel, inn, bed and breakfast or tourist camp.”

The three percent tax would be attached onto the county’s three percent room occupancy and tourism development tax, passed by the General Assembly in 1987, bringing the total occupancy tax in the town to six percent.

The bill passed for the county tax states the revenue generated may be used “for any lawful purpose.”

The town of Ahoskie levied a room occupancy tax last year.

“In designating the use of the funds, it would be appropriate that the occupancy tax revenue be utilized for economic development, and more particularly that promotion of travel, tourism and conventions, sponsor tourist-related projects and activities and finance tourist-related capital projects in town,” said Murfreesboro Town Administrator Cathy Davison.

Councilwoman Sarah Wallace questioned if the county shared their occupancy tax with Murfreesboro.

“No, they do not,” said Davison.

Councilman Lloyd Hill asked if levying an occupancy tax would hurt interested hotel developers.

Davison said it would not and the percentage suggested was reasonable considering Franklin, Va. charges an eight percent occupancy tax.

The council agreed to set the public hearing.