Tourism board isn't for tax hike

By CHARLES PEARL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

The Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission will not endorse a 2 percent increase in the transient room tax to help fund the Grand Theatre arts center project.

In Wednesday's meeting, the commission, which had just enough voting members for a quorum, approved a resolution saying while it "wholeheartedly supports" the Grand Theatre project, the commission's research indicates "the project will not increase room nights at local hotels and motels." The Save the Grand Theatre group had asked the commission for an endorsement of the tax increase.

The current transient room tax on local hotels and motels is 4 percent. Of that, 3 percent goes for operations of the tourist commission office and 1 percent goes to market and advertise the Farnham Dudgeon Convention Center.

Tourist Commission Executive Director Joy Jeffries said she spent "an enormous amount of time (during the past month) on research to provide a recommendation to (the commission), and ultimately Franklin County Fiscal Court, in reference to the transient room tax being used to fund the Grand Theatre."

Jeffries said 27 chamber of commerce offices within a 75-mile radius of Frankfort were called and asked this question: "If individuals from your city were to come to Frankfort for a performance at a community theater, would they likely stay overnight?"

Twenty people said no, 1 said yes, 5 said it would depend on other factors, and 1 said not without some type of tourism package.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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