Politics & Government

Perry votes to lower hotel-motel tax

PERRY -- With the final payment for the Go Fish Georgia Education Center scheduled for next month, hotel rooms in Perry will get a little cheaper.

The Perry City Council voted Tuesday night to lower its hotel-motel tax to 7 percent from the current 8 percent. The additional money paid for Go Fish and extensive upgrades at the Perry Arts Center.

The funding change triggers a different formula that will deal a financial blow to the Convention & Visitors Bureau, which will deal with it in its budget, City Manager Lee Gilmour has said.

The measure passed Tuesday night in a split vote. Councilman Robert Jones said he cast the sole vote against the measure because he thought the CVB could have used the additional money to bring more business to Perry. Jones said he wasn’t part of the City Council when members vowed to reduce the tax after the Go Fish center was completed.

He also praised his colleagues who voted for the tax reduction for keeping their word.

Separately, the City Council voted to hire ChandlerThinks of Franklin, Tennessee, to create branding for the city. The contract is valued at $65,000, and seven of the city’s community partners have pledged $13,500 to help.

Mayor Jimmy Faircloth told The Telegraph that the branding effort would inform much of what the city does.

“This is the next step the city’s taking to identify itself and separate itself from like cities,” Faircloth said. The goal of the branding is to succinctly tell Perry’s story and, in turn, help develop more tourism, he said.

Perry also moved to adopt the volunteer-driven Perry Main Street Program as a city board. Faircloth said the program would remain run by volunteers. The City Council will appoint the board soon.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.