Commission approves Hotel/Motel tax

Cannon County Commissioners approved a private act creating a 5 percent hotel-motel tax during a lengthy session Saturday.

“Every county that touches Cannon County, with the exception of one, has a hotel-motel tax,” explained Doug Bodary, County Techinical Assistance Service representative. That one county, Coffee, doesn’t have a tax because two cities, Tullahoma and Manchester, already have one.

“We are getting the jump on the city (of Woodbury),” said Commission Chairman Bob Stoetzel.

The recommendation received some opposition initially before it was passed by voice vote.

“I’m not for it. It is putting more burden on a business that’s in its infancy,” said Commissioner Mark Barker.

Commissioner Russell Reed said comparing Cannon County with
its larger, surrounding counties was somewhat misleading. Reed offered a list of 10 counties that were comparable in size to Cannon. Six of them had a hotel-motel tax and four didn’t. The six with the tax were located either on an Interstate or near a lake or state park.

Chamber of Commerce member Thea Prince explained the hotel-motel tax would help the Chamber to bring in more visitors to Cannon County.

“The Chamber is trying to improve our tourism,” Prince said.

All of the proceeds from the tax will go to the Chamber.

Bodary said the tax will probably create only $1,000 to $2,000 in revenues.

Kevin Halpern, representing the Cannon Inn, spoke against the measure.

“We get very few tourists,” Halpern said. Most of the inn’s guests are here for funerals or to attend family

After discussion, Commissioner Kevin George moved for passage of the tax. Clint Higgins seconded. The measure passed with only Commissioner Reed voting no.