Craig City Council member considers re-working lodging tax

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Craig City Council member Terry Carwile said he was “disappointed, to say the least” at how city voters weighed in on Referendum 2B, the 6.9-percent lodging tax proposal, during Tuesday’s general election.

Carwile said he was left wondering why voters had turned down a proposal that would have “benefited the community a great deal.”

For that reason, Carwile said he is considering revisiting the lodging tax issue, possibly lowering the tax percentage and putting it up for vote again in the city’s municipal election in April.

“I don’t see anything in the world wrong with putting it on the ballot again,” he said. “I don’t know if we would generate the level of help that we got from folks in terms of promoting the idea next time, though.”

But, the idea is premature, Carwile said. The council member said the council has other issues to address first, and he would need to “test the waters” to see if other council members share the same sentiment.

Carwile was unsure why the measure was voted down by 72 percent of Craig voters, he said.

“Given the resounding nature of the ‘no’ vote, I can’t really put my finger on one particular aspect, there,” he said. “Maybe people are adverse to the whole idea. We’ll have to see, but it may be worth a shot to put it on the ballot again in April.”

Carwile was also not convinced the percentage rate of the proposed levy had a great deal of influence on voters, he said.

“That was the interesting part of it,” he said. “There were some folks that were vocal about it, but the average man or woman on the street didn’t seem to be that connected to it.”

However, Carwile said the “back and forth” discussions between proponents of the measure and area lodging industry representatives about the tax percentage “distorted the discussion.”

“In real dollar terms, it is not that much,” he said. “And, the benefits to the community would have been great.”

If the city council gives the thumbs up to revisiting the issue, Carwile said lodging representatives would likely be included in the discussion of the rate percentage.

“I don’t think there is going to be any question there will be a need to communicate with other folks again,” he said.

Randy Looper, a Craig resident and co-owner of the Elk Run Inn who opposed the measure, said he would be on board for further discussions about lowering the tax rate and re-proposing the measure.

“As long as it isn’t over 4.9 (percent), I will support it, 100 percent,” he said.

Looper said he would like to see some sort of lodging tax in the city.

“My problem with the whole process … (was that) in the first meeting, they came up with the 6.9 percent from who, what, where or why, I don’t know because I wasn’t there,” he said. “After that, no one was willing to listen and change that point.”

Looper said he understands the tax would be beneficial to the lodging industry in the long run if the measure doesn’t put them out of business in the short term.

“I think there is a point at which people say, ‘No more,’” he said. “I think if you get, not the lodging tax … but the total tax over 12 percent, it is going to be people saying no.”

Looper said if the lodging tax would have passed in the general election at 6.9 percent, his hotel could have lost business and not seen the benefits for at least three years.

“That is a long time to try to figure out how to survive,” he said.

Council member Ray Beck said he would support revisiting the tax percentage because he still believes in “the concept of it” and the tax’s potential benefits to the area.

Beck thinks lowering the percentage would help the measure’s chances of passing in the April election, if approved by city council.

“We’re not shooting for the moon here,” he said. “We are taking baby steps, but at the same time we are allowing this to be under the city … (where we would) have a lot more flexibility.”

Comments

taxslave 4 years, 1 month ago

A very good point to get to the bottom of...who exactly proposed the 6.9 percent in the first place?

Interesting, "now you're going to involve those who are involved in the industry".

Do you see yet what is going on and how real powers hide themselves.

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taxslave 4 years, 1 month ago

One more little item of the day that will effect you....The QE2 announced by the feds yesterday. Do you know what this means? It means they just devalued chinas' holdings, as well as the rest of the worlds', by over 20%. They devalued the us dollar. How would you feel. This gives china reason to attack and invade and take the usa.

We could all possibly be facing 5 dollar/gal/gas by as early as Monday. If this happens, not many hunters will be traveling anywhere.

This is a very real possibility folks. Doubles costs of everything almost over night.

If any of you think our gov. "has things under control"...lol.

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dennis collins 4 years, 1 month ago

well, i can't imagine china would want it. if we can't straighten it out why would they want it to mess with.

you guys need to connect with the voters, 70% ? thats not getting defeated, thats getting your behind handed to you. people are getting tired of some official with a hair brained idea trying to contol them, thats why you saw what you saw tuesday. the motels think the tax might keep the hunters out, well they are probably right, but then i believe craig has some of the most grossly overpriced motels in the country anyway, i found nicer hotels around disneyland cheaper. Gas 20% higher than anywhere else, groceries higher (thank God for wal mart prices there) and just about anything else the hunters need, higher priced, i will always be surprised hunters come at all.

oh yeah, in defense of craig, i was offered a deal on a new truck from corriveau over at ford, that was about 20% under what the dealer in rifle and grand jct. made, so it don't have to be that way here.

oh well, deaf ears don't hear anything but what they want to hear. maybe our low priced homes will draw new money --HA!

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cforevereyez 4 years, 1 month ago

When people who are elected to office don't understand the meaning of "NO", then it's time to vote them out of office. Terry Carwile seems to think he is entitled to collect and spend our hard earned money, because he knows better. He doesn't. Vote this person out of office the next time he's up for re-election.

Taxing someone else's bed, to benefit those who didn't sleep in that bed, is the worst tax of all. Congratulations to those people in Craig who "got it."

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DAILYREADER 4 years, 1 month ago

HOW NAIVE CAN ONE BE????????? TERRY CARWILE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHY 2B WAS BLOWN OUT OF THE WATER. PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF THE SQUANDERING OF THEIR TAX MONEY.

THE DEFEAT WAS NOT BECAUSE OF THE PROPOSED TAX. IT WAS BECAUSE OF THE PLOY TO BRING IN MORE MONEY TO SPEND ON FUTILITY.

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