Marion ponders own guest tax
For years, the county has drawn a transient guest tax, often known as “bed tax,” collected at lodging establishments throughout the county except for Hillsboro, which has drawn its own guest tax.
Now the city of Marion will get tax money from Marion hotels for its own use.
Marion economic development director Randy Collett asked commissioners Tuesday to remove Marion’s transient guest tax proceeds from the county’s umbrella and let the city use the money to promote and develop its attractions.
“What I’m asking today is to have the county approve Marion to get transient guest taxes for the city of Marion,” Collett said. “Marion’s contribution is about $53,000.”
In order to change the division of guest tax money, the county will have to go back to the original resolution establishing the division of the money and make changes.
Collett said that statewide, most of the money collected by the tax is designated for use by a city’s convention and visitors chamber.
That’s the way Hillsboro’s guest tax proceeds are used.
Marion would need to write a resolution to set up an account.
“The more people we attract here, hopefully the more guest tax you’ll get here,” Collett said.
County funds already contain $3,000 collected from Marion establishments, Collett said.
Collett suggested letting the $3,000 already in the county’s possession “stay right where it is and put a flag in the ground and move forward.”
“What I’m looking for today is just your nod of approval,” Collett said. “(County counsel) Brad Jantz will have to get involved with changing the original resolution.”
Commissioners voted to allow Marion to opt out of the county’s tax and collect its own.