Letter to the Editor

Try a tourist tax

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dear editor,

Well I know come April 2, we will have a choice to raise taxes or not to raise taxes here in Barry County. No one likes to have their taxes raised. Food is way too high and gas seems to be going up. My property tax went up in 2012 and my house is older. We just keep paying and paying. Obamacare, how will that affect our taxes? No one is creating any jobs in this state as far as I can see. Or it's being kept a secret. Jobs are going overseas. What are we doing to our country?

I know Barry County is not the richest county. We could combine road districts. That could save money. I also know that we get a lot of tourists coming through here in the spring and summer and for our beautiful fall. My question is why it is always the way when a city or state or county needs money the first thing is "let's raise taxes."

Well I just wonder why we cannot think of other ways to raise money for our county. Someone said to me that they could try a tourist tax. I would think that might be a road to go down to bring in some extra revenue for our county.

If it were a 4 percent tax on say all hotel rooms and cabins in the area, we are talking about 4 cents on every dollar. If the average room cost is $60 a night, we are talking about $2.40 on every room. So let's say we have 200 rooms available, that equals $480 a night times seven nights is $3,360, and we do this all spring, summer and fall. How much money would that be in income?

It would be about seven months if we are fortuante and have a good spring through fall season and that does not include Shell Knob and Monett yet. All of Barry County must be included. My figures come out to between $75,000 and $94,000. Could be more if we have a good season. That sure would help our sherrif and deputies.

Why is it always about raising taxes?

People plan for vacation well in advance. Do you think 4 cents on a dollar would stop someone from going on their planned vacation? I would hope not. Many places have a tourist tax. Something we may consider. Let the tourist pay the tax.

We have a beautiful area for tourists. What we need are the people that want to implement a tourist tax. Something to think about.

Thank you,

Ruth Callahan

Taxpayer in Barry County

Cassville, Missouri