We urge Selma City Council to vote in favor of new feesPublished 9:06pm Saturday, January 19, 2013
Discussion of the proposed lodging fee, or occupancy fee that has been discussed at length in the past several months is up for an increase. An increase would go to help financially stabilize and support both the YMCA of Selma and the Brown YMCA.
The Selma City Council had previously placed a proposal of a $1.50 lodging fee increase on all Selma city hotels, which would in turn benefit the Y. If this ordinance passes, the Y would be that much closer to keeping its doors open and continuing its quality service to the people of Selma and Dallas County.
The fee increase, which would be enforced on a per-night, per room basis, would go directly to the city of Selma and the city would then give all of the revenue to the Y through a contract for community development. This tax could potentially bring in an estimated $188,000 for the Y a year. That amount could be just the ticket the Y needs to stay afloat.
“I know a lot of hotel owners in here have expressed a grave concern about the Brown YMCA and we are going to add 50 cents on to support the Brown YMCA for a total of $2,” council president Corey Bowie said in the Selma Administrative Committee meeting Friday. “Then $1.50 would go towards the Walker-Johnson facility and 50 cents would go towards the YMCA.”
In a previous work session Evans announced to the council he believed it would take about $300,000 to bring the Brown YMCA up to shape and open it up again. However the concerns from the hotel owners and managers did not seem to stem from concern about helping the Brown YMCA in the committee meeting. Hotel workers expressed they felt the fee was simply unfair.
We feel as though adding 50 cents, making it an even $2 per night per room will be hugely beneficial to our city in supporting both the YMCA of Selma and the Brown Y.
This is an increase that does not hurt the residents of Selma. It is not a fee you will ever even see unless you stay at a hotel in town. By adding these fees we feel Selma will stay competitive with surrounding area hotels.
The council will vote on the occupancy fee Tuesday, and we urge the Selma City Council to vote in favor of the additional lodging fee.
Following the vote if it were to pass, there would be another document in discussion, a contract for the ordinance between the city and the YMCA, which would need to be voted on at a later date.
We think this is something our city needs and $2 from every out-of-town, overnight guest could turn the state of these two facilities around, especially with the future of the Y being in limbo.
We thank our council members for thinking proactively and brainstorming ideas to keep this vital facility a key player in our community.