Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dan Barger Raises Proposed Lodging Tax Increase

We have recently been discussing how wrong the TD gets facts. The proposed increase in lodging tax for Florence is one of those things. Robert Palmer incorrectly stated it was originally 3%, but raised to 5% in the latest estimates.

No, not quite. It was originally 5%, but scaled down to 3% after city hotel management launched a protest. Now it's back up to the original 5%. Barger says this will cover the cost of needed upkeep to the park. There has been practically no park maintenance in the past 10 years at the Veterans location. 

Former city councilman Barry Morris says the financial study on the proposed tennis complex is flawed. If so, it would not surprise us. If Barger is correct that lodging tax will bring in 600K a year if the increase is approved, it will take just under 16 years to recoup the money spent...and that isn't counting interest. 

It's also interesting that the proposed new ball fields were previously estimated at coming in at 3 million. Now it's 3.2 million. Hey, what's an extra 200K? 

Has anyone explained how the magic number of courts is 31? Does the plan call for a nominal fee for locals to use the courts? 

The most recent statistics indicate one in 17 people play tennis at least once a year. How about at least 10 times a year? Then the number falls to one in 32. We strongly suspect that figure is lower in the Shoals; however, we are presumably building these courts for the tourism that comes with large competitions. 

Whether these courts, should they come to pass, are a big hit or a tremendous flop, ala Cypress Lakes Golf & Tennis Club, we may not know for at least 10 years. Whoever is on the Florence City Council at that time will have to deal with the situation. Good luck...

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