Commissioners propose bed tax rate increase
The Jackson County Commissioners have adopted a resolution to raise the county’s bed tax rate from three to five percent.
Earlier this fall, members of the Jackson County Tourism Council, which directly benefits from the tax collected, asked the commissioners to consider increasing the rate.
Since April 1, 1997, an ongoing bed tax has been collected in the county from all hotels, motels and “tourist courts” with more than two bedrooms. The tax is administered and collected by the Kansas Department of Revenue.
Since its implementation, the tax has generated between $17,000 and $45,000 annually in Jackson County, including:
* 2013 - $20,189.10.
* 2012 - $31,905.37.
* 2011 - $31,695.52.
* 2010 - $29,347.29.
* 2009 - $18,536.79.
* 2008 - $45,740.26.
* 2007 - $19,963.21.
* 2006 - $22,113.23.
* 2005 - $19,810.98.
* 2004 - $22,021.37.
* 2003 - $27,963.13.
* 2002 - $31,691.85.
* 2001 - $33,228.62.
* 2000 - $28,229.45.
* 1999 - $22,671.94.
* 1998 - $22,886.23.
* 1997 - $6,591.55 (partial year).
The new bed tax rate will take effect in 61 days after a notice is published twice in The Holton Recorder. During this time, however, any member of the public can file a petition for a referendum to force the tax increase to be put to a public vote, according to Jackson County Clerk Kathy Mick.
In the resolution, the commissioners noted that the former tax of three percent would be repealed when the new tax is implemented.
Since it was established in 1997, the tax has solely benefited the Jackson County Tourism Council in order to support county tourism and economic development efforts.
The council works in conjunction with the commissioners, the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and other agencies “to create economic growth within Jackson County by advancing growth in lodging receipts, employment and investment opportunities, and the tax based within the county.”
Current members of the council include Anna Wilhelm, Suzette McCord-Rogers, Lori Ford, Mary Pfeiler, Marje Cochren and Larry Holliday.
Wilhelm meets with the commissioners on a regular basis to update them on the tourism council and their efforts to promote Jackson County.
County or city officials can establish a bed tax rate through a resolution. Atchison County has a four percent bed tax while the city of Atchison has an eight percent rate, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue.
Shawnee County has a seven percent “transient guest tax rate,” which is the same as a bed tax, and the city of Topeka has a seven percent rate.
Sabetha and Seneca both have two percent bed tax rates. Wamego has a bed tax rate of five percent.