Oxley: Say yes to lodging tax | CraigDailyPress.com

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Oxley: Say yes to lodging tax

To the editor:

The Craig Chamber of Commerce board of directors unanimously agreed to support a question on November's ballot to implement a lodging tax in the city of Craig.

The tax would be minimal, about $5 a night paid by travelers, but the impact to Craig's economy would be significant — more than $500,000 to spend on capital projects, marketing, economic development and community beautification, all of which the Chamber believes are critical to a growing, diverse and vibrant economy.

Those dollars would mean more jobs, healthier businesses, higher sales tax revenue and better services and amenities for Craig. And best of all, residents can reap all of those benefits without a cost to them.

Increased revenue will always benefit the businesses and residents of Craig, and it's a win-win situation for voters when we can find more dollars to spend without increasing the local tax burden.

Visitors use the city streets and amenities that local residents generally pay to maintain.

Through a lodging tax, visitors contribute to those costs, as they should.

We're most excited about the where these funds will be used.

By using lodging tax dollars committed to capital projects, we have the opportunity to evaluate what would best serve and draw more visitors, and make it happen.

Three percent, approximately $230,000, would be used to market Moffat County. A basic business principal is that you can't sell what people don't know you have. And too many people don't know that Moffat County has world-class recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, four-wheeling and snowmobiling, to name just a few. Smart marketing yields results.

People all over the United States are looking for the things we have and take for granted.

A small portion of the proposed lodging tax would be used for economic development and beautification, two things the Chamber believes are critical to attracting investment in our community.

Residents cannot lose by voting yes on this important question.

The Chamber board of directors believes this tax will only benefit the local community, including local hotels. Increased marketing means increased business, particularly for those in the lodging industry.

We don't believe a $5 rate increase will detract visitors or negatively affect business travelers.

For more information on the proposed lodging tax, visit http://www.progressforcraig.com.

Christina Oxley

Executive director, Craig Chamber of Commerce