DICKINSON COUNTY, IA (KUOO) – The Arnolds Park City Council Wednesday night heard concern over last month’s action to put on the November ballot a proposal to increase the city’s hotel motel tax from 5 percent to 7 percent.
Mike May, of Trigg’s Resort, was critical of the action, saying traditional resorts and lodging facilities are being held at a disadvantage over short-term vacation rentals of private residences, such as BRBO’s, that aren’t charging the tax.
“Let’s put another two percent on those people,” said May. “They’ve done such a great job for us let’s do another two percent, and let’s don’t collect that money that’s laying out there that would more than makeup for what you would miss out on this two percent, so. The world’s changing and we can’t do things the same way and we understand that. We need some help. We need help from you to collect those dollars and make the competition fair.”
May questioned the council as to why lodging representatives weren’t informed of the proposed increase prior to the action being taken to put it on the ballot.
City officials say that was the goal originally, but they had to act when they did after they found out about a rapidly approaching deadline in which to get it on the ballot for the November election.
May said the city could have waited another year first in order to get input from the lodging representatives.
Mayor Jim Hussong says they’ve started taking action against those who are renting under certain terms that are in violation of city code.