Sedona AZ (June 3, 2013) – In a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor, the following form letter is being distributed by the Lodging Council so business owners and employees may send a message to the Sedona City Council via the Sedona Chamber of Commerce in favor of increasing city sales and bed taxes:
The ‘more taxes’ Form Letter the Lodging Council is getting business owners and their employees to sign is copied below [caps replace the letter’s underlines]. The address for returning signed letters: 45 Sunset Drive, i.e., the Chamber of Commerce.
Dear Mayor and City Council,
My business depends on a strong and healthy tourism industry in Sedona. The quality and quantity of visitors to Sedona is paramount to my livelihood, the livelihood of my employees, and the overall success of my business. It is imperative that Sedona remain competitive in the global tourism industry and, in order to do so we must invest in destination marketing, sales, public relations and product development to position Sedona as a premier travel destination.
For that reason, I support the Sedona Lodging Council’s proposal to INCREASE THE CITY SALES TAX BY .5% AND TO INCREASE THE BED TAX BY .5%. My support is contingent on the dedication of 45% of the total bed tax collections to be allocated to the City’s Official Destination Marketing Organization for marketing, 15% dedicated to visitor center management and 20% be allocated for tourism product development for as long as this tax is in place. Furthermore, a significant portion of funds generated from the .5% sales tax should be allocated at the City’s discretion for priority capital improvement projects.
While I don’t particularly care for the idea of increased taxes, I realize that the timing is right and the current situation is a win-win scenario:
WIN FOR THE CITY: As reported by city staff, in approximately 3 years there will be no funding available for capital improvement projects. This additional revenue will generate the needed funds to be used at the discretion of City Council for priority capital projects. The City will also benefit from the additional incremental revenue generated by increased visitor spending, a result of effective marketing efforts conducted by the Chamber of Commerce.
WIN FOR THE SEDONA RESIDENTS: The residents will see a .5% decrease in overall sales tax since the 1% state sales tax will be removed on May 31. The residents will also benefit from the additional funds allocated to capital projects such as improved drainage, sidewalks, roads etc. In addition, there will be more revenue to the general fund based on increased visitor spending. The increases to the general fund will help enhance city services and help fund parks, street maintenance, police services, and overall enhances the quality of life and services to our residents.
WIN FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY: The business community wins from the increased allocation to tourism marketing which will lead to additional visitor spending, more jobs, and the creation of a vibrant, competitive tourism destination.
WIN FOR SEDONA VISITORS: Additional funds allocated to destination marketing will lead to new and enhanced visitor services, products, activities and attractions. A satisfied visitor will spend more money, return and possibly relocate to Sedona.
PLEASE COUNT ON MY SUPPORT FOR THE .5% CITY SALES TAX AND THE .5% BED TAX INCREASE based on the City’s commitment to dedicate 60% of the total bed tax collections to the City’s Official Destination Marketing Organization and 20% be allocated for tourism product development.
Print Name:____________________ Title:_____________________
Business Name:_________________ Number of Employees:_______
City of residence:________________ Business location (city):______