Tourism Tax Proposed for Batesville - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Batesville, AR - Brad Bean Reports

Tourism Tax Proposed for Batesville

May 30, 2005- Posted at 6:30 p.m. CST

BATESVILLE-  A new tax on tourism is being proposed in the city of batesville. The city thinks this tax could generate revenue for its expenditures. But some opponets believe that this tax is a way for the local government to pass its own initiatives.

Some batesville residents are saying that their parks need a facelift. On June 14th, the City of Batesville will decide whether or not to implement a new tourism tax. The tax would be on hotel and restaurant revenue. Hotels would be taxed the most at 2% followed by restaurants at 1%.

Randy Palmer said, "We are expecting 234,000. A lot of people have told us that it could generate a lot more.

This past year, the city funded and built a new amphitheatre on the banks of the white river. The possible revenue from the new tax would be used to update the cities older facilites.  

Hotel manager Dennis Sisk, opponent of the tax, says that the proposal is a way for the city to implament a new tax without the citizens approval.

Sisk says, "They have decided to come back through the parks and recreation department and try to envoke this tax through the back door without the voters having any say in this matter."

And this is not the only reason he does not approve.  

Sisk says there is no tourism in batesville. There is nothing here to bring tourist to Batesville other than it's a lovely community with beautiful river flowing through the middle of it. But there are not facilities that would make people want to come spend time in Batesville or anytime in Batesville.

The city council will have the final say as they make their decision on June 14th. As for now Dennis Sisk will have to wait and see if more business owners come forward as well.

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