Decatur County discovers a motel tax is not in their future

Published 11:02 am Monday, October 28, 2013

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night was presented with the first reading of a county ordinance that would establish a hotel/motel tax of five-percent for establishments in the unincorporated portion of the county.
During the September 24 commission meeting, when the idea of imposing such a tax was first discussed, it was believed that the county would be able to collect the tax on all establishments inside the county, including those within the Bainbridge city limits.
However, the state law that authorizes counties to impose the tax says, “at no time shall a county or municipality levy simultaneously more than one tax under this article.”
The proposed ordinance presented by county attorney Brown Moseley includes only hotels and motels outside the Bainbridge city limits.
“I would very quickly throw out that this would only affect a limited number of businesses. There are a couple of hotels on Highway 27 South and the hunting lodges. This will not be a gold mine,” said Brown Moseley.
“So everything in the city limits is off limits to us,” asked commissioner Butch Mosely.
Brown Moseley responded that the only establishments that would be affected would be the Palmer Motel, Glenn Oaks Motel, Southwind Plantation, Brentwood Plantation, and the Climax Gun Club.
“Seems to me that it would cost more to administer the tax than we will collect,” said commissioner Frank Loeffler.
The commission agreed to table the ordinance until the next commission meeting, scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, November 12.

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