YMCA, hotels meet on new fee

Published 8:05pm Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stakeholders with hotels and the YMCA of Selma met at the Hampton Inn Wednesday to discuss the proposed lodging tax fee increase in Selma.

The meeting came about after Hampton Inn manager Rufus Ford opposed the idea of a fee increase during Tuesday’s meeting of the Selma City Council, saying he wanted to get everyone to the table for a meeting and discussion.

“It was a very positive meeting,” Bill Porter, YMCA CEO said and mentioned he was very optimistic and happy with how the meeting went.

The majority of Selma hotels were represented at the meeting and several weighed in about the $3 proposed fee.

“I just think $3, that is not viable,” Sonny Patel, manager of the Selma Hotel said after the meeting. “Looking at the current economy and the current situation from the hotel business, I think [$1 fee] or a percentage might be OK, but we are just going to the next meeting to finalize that.”

At the end of the meeting, hotel owners said they wanted to do their part in contributing to the YMCA, but they were going to wait for further meetings and discussions to decide the amount any fee increase.

“Everybody [at the meeting] let their tensions go and said ‘We are going to do something [to help the Y] we don’t care what it is, we are going to do something,‘” Ford said.

Ford added he would not be in support of a $3 lodging tax fee, however he would support one that was in the $1 range, as was the lodging tax fee in Greenville that supported their local YMCA.

According to the proposed plan, the additional fee would be divided between helping financially stabilize the YMCA and the city of Selma’s general fund. Two-thirds of the $3 per night, per room fee would go to the YMCA, and the remaining dollar would go to the city.

  • popdukes12

    With the additional “pension” debt payments form the warrent issue last year, the city has an additional obligation of $663K this year that must be collected from someone. Loging tax projection for 2013 is only $336K, and the city will be loosing $736 from garbage fees with the contracting of that function. The city must have seen this $3 additional lodging tax as way to increase revenue as they can’t blame the need on children or grandma. Ten different organizations showed up at the City Council meeting for handouts Tuesday night, and not a one of these “non-budgeted” handouts were in the 2013 budget. The city has to do something, and hooking on to a noble entity like the “Y” must have looked like a good idea. pops

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