TDA occupancy tax to remain at 5%

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. — The Tourism Development Authority (TDA) made their case before the RC Commissioners to keep the occupancy tax as is at 5%. The occupancy tax is paid by lodging properties and used by the RC TDA to promote RC tourism. The commissioners have the authority to raise the occupancy tax to 6% and direct its allocation, the two parties struck a compromise that lets it remain the same.

Richard Lundy, Chair of the Tourism Development Authority

While the commissioners had proposed using an additional 1% to supplement teachers’ salaries, TDA board chair Richard Lundy indicated the TDA’s county-wide strategic plan currently in process could be negatively affected. The Strategic Plan is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.

County Commission Chair Bryan King had sent a trial balloon up at the 2017-2018 year’s goal setting meeting on Feb. 24 to use the occupancy tax to benefit education. After meeting with differences of opinion and conversations with associated parties,

“I came to realize that this change would not be in the best long-term interest of the county,” King stated. “The County Commissioners and TDA are partners.”

Lundy spoke to the value of education at the meeting but said the TDA is not in favor of occupancy tax dollars used for something other than its original purpose. The TDA is creating a major long-range tourism strategic plan for RC and had considered asking for an occupancy tax increase to help fund their plans. Howeve Lundy proposed implementing some educational projects within the TDA’s function.

The commissioners unanimously voted to remove the occupancy tax increase from their legislative goals.

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