BYRON -- Hotels and motels are a step closer to charging more in taxes, but owners say the increase should bring them more business.
Monday, the City Council heard the first reading of a measure to increase the tax on hotels and motels from 5 percent to 6 percent, said Byron Mayor Pro Tem Michael Chidester.
Chidester said the increase originated with the Byron Convention & Visitors Bureau with approval from area hotel and motel owners who hope the increased tax will generate more business. Half the money generated through the hotel-motel tax are mandated to be used for promoting the city’s visitor and tourist trade through brochures, billboards and other means.
Chidester said the Georgia General Assembly already has given necessary approval for the increase. All that remains is for the council to give its final approval, which is scheduled for September.
Also Monday, Chidester said the council approved updates to a number of policies and standard operating procedures regarding the rental and use of city-owned facilities, particularly the Municipal Complex/City Hall facilities.
He said the council’s Public Properties Committee recommended the changes.
The updates included such things as setting a 72-hour deadline for ordering a set-up change for rooms being rented and used; outlining a no-cooking policy for the complex that does allowing grilling on an outdoor concrete pad; and adding a penalty charge for the late return of city sound equipment used during events.
Chidester said one aspect of facility rental that the council has discussed -- and tabled in July for further discussion -- was not addressed in the updates: a policy regarding alcohol use on city property.
He said a resolution to that issue has yet to be reached.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at email@example.com.