South Jacksonville Looking to Increase Hotel-Motel Tax – WLDS

South Jacksonville Village is looking to increase the hotel and lodge tax in the near future.

The hotel and motel tax is the only revenue the village earns for its tourism financing.

Regent Paula Belobradjek-Stuart, chair of the Village Parks and Tourism Commission, told the board Thursday during a committee emanating from the entire meeting that the tourism commission found that the village ordinance governing the tax rate does not equal the neighboring towns tax rate: “Now: [our ordinance] He says the hotel-hotel tax is between 3 and 5 percent. This is what the law reads. We’ll change that to 8% to match hotel tax rates in the surrounding areas. Now, Chicago is 10.5%, which is clearly high. The majority of communities are Jacksonville 8%. We’re going to raise our level to 8% because people don’t stay here just because we’re at 5%. The way we’re going to rewrite the command… 3 to 5 will be out. It’ll say 8% when you pass, then increase it by half a percent for each year up to 10%. Then the board of directors at that time in 4 years will re-visit that, because if the rate at 10% is too high, they will obviously change that. You don’t want to take yourself out of the market, but we’re also leaving a lot of money on the table right now.”

The Tourism Commission is also considering setting a flat fee for hotels and motels that are late in paying their village taxes, and also has an accountability measure for hotels and motels if they intentionally report their revenue.

Possible changes to the hotel and hostel tax code are on the action items table at the December board meeting.

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