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Chatham Commissioners realize the stupidity of trying to raise the occupancy tax

Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010

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Pittsboro, NC - On June 8, 2010, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted not to proceed with the increase in the lodging occupancy tax from 3% to 6% that had been part of the proposed county budget for fiscal year 2010-11.

The room occupancy tax is paid on overnight lodging, such as hotels and inns, with all revenues required to be spent on activities to attract more visitors. The funds are managed by the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), which promotes tourism countywide.

Occupancy tax revenues currently support various tourism promotion activities, such as: promoting coverage in travel magazines and news media, developing and distributing materials and e-newsletter that promote the county as a desirable destination, hosting an updated website, assisting local tourism-related businesses in their marketing efforts and participating in local and regional partnerships.

The Board of Commissioners recently designated various types of tourism, including tourism related to nature, agriculture and cultural arts, as an important element of its economic development strategic plan.

An annual study commissioned by the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development and conducted by the Travel Industry Association has found that tourism’s economic impact in the county increased 32.7% from 2004 to 2008. The 2009 results are slated for release in late August.

The latest report (2008) showed that the overall economic impact of tourism in the county was $25.35 million. It also showed that tourism generated 170 jobs in the county, $3.27 million in payroll and $1.45 million in tax revenues, a tax savings of $31.86 per resident.

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Chatham Commissioners realize the stupidity of trying to raise the occupancy tax
County commissioners considered raising lodging occupancy tax from 3% to 6% before hearing from the county lodging industry.

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