Quincy hotel association wants more done with tax dollars - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy hotel association wants more done with tax dollars

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Workers at Town and County Inn and Suites in Quincy, finish up tasks. Workers at Town and County Inn and Suites in Quincy, finish up tasks.
Funding from the hotel-motel tax go towards the Oakley-Lindsay Center pictured here. Funding from the hotel-motel tax go towards the Oakley-Lindsay Center pictured here.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Guests staying at hotels in Quincy, like Town and Country Inn and Suites, paid more than they should have after the tax rate stayed at eight percent instead of rolling back to five.

"Last year, all the hotels brought in more than $1 million in hotel taxes," Dax Fohey, President of the Quincy Area Hotel & Lodging Association, said. "That's the most we've ever brought in."

The money goes towards the Oakley-Lindsay Center and the Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Fohey says for that reason, he didn't expect the hotel-motel tax to decrease.

"It's a lot of money that we're bringing in," Fohey explained. "So as long as it's used to help promote tourism, we're all for it."

However, it was supposed to roll back. The increase adopted in 1999 set a sunset date of November 2016. Mayor Kyle Moore says they found out about it last week. 

"It got missed by a number of different departments, by a number of different administrations," Moore said. "The important thing is not to sit and point fingers. It's how do you solve the problem."

Council is considering an ordinance making the eight percent tax rate permanent. Aldermen, including Richie Reis of the sixth ward, also want to have the taxes reviewed.

"All of our contracts and taxes, we should look at that every year around budget time," Reis said.

An idea Mayor Moore echoed. 

"Puts the accountability on everybody and makes sure that we have a system in place to make sure it doesn't happen again," Moore added.

Fohey hopes the tax can now do more to help fill the hotels.

"We just need to find things on the weekends I think to pick up," Fohey explained. "We have the same events that we've had for a long time, but we don't have a lot of new ones and that's what we really need."

The review also found council should be reviewing the home rule sales tax every two years, something that hasn't been happening. Ordinances on both the hotel-motel tax and home rule tax are being taken up by city council and could be voted on in two weeks.

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