City Raises Hotel-Motel Tax

March 6, 2007 - Posted at 9:58 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- There will soon be more money to promote the city of Jonesboro.  The city council voted Tuesday night to adopt a proposed ordinance to increase the 1% hotel-motel tax to 3%. It translates into $360,000 dollars a year for the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce Advertising and Promotion Commission... and as one local bed & breakfast owner agrees, it may be a good move for the city.

The West Washington Guest House has been in business for more than eight years. What makes it's the only bed and breakfast in Jonesboro.  Owner Ken Stacks believes the tax increase is going in the right direction.

"I see it as a very positive thing, because that money, that tax that is collected from people that visit here, guests of ours is actually used to help promote Jonesboro and bring more people in and to fund things that benefit the city," said Stacks.

Jonesboro's city council voted to increase, but Stacks still believes the city is worth more.

"If you examine the tax that is on hotel, lodging type taxes in cities of similar sizes to Jonesboro, ours is considerably lower then what you find in most cities," said Stacks.

And as for the tourism dollars, Stacks says it's likely they will be well spent.

"The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission promotes all kinds of events, from baseball and soccer and all kinds of tournaments like that, golf tournaments.  And also things with the foundation of arts and the forum, so a wide variety of things that they encourage people will come from out of town to participate and spend their money here in Jonesboro, so it's a win for everyone involved," said Stacks.

The tax increase will go into effect 30 days from now.