Jun 11, 2024

Transient Guest Tax is a focus during joint meeting

Posted Jun 11, 2024 1:41 AM

There are not enough parks and facilities in Geary County for recreation. County Commissioner Alex Tyson told a joint city - county - school district meeting on Monday that when other communities pursue similar facilities they use transient guest tax. Transient guest tax funds are paid by users of lodging facilities.

Tyson noted that in this community there is discussion about not having enough parks, facilities for kids and beautification of areas. "I believe the best way for the commission and county to be a party to some of those enhancements in our community is by leveraging that fund. That way it's not a hindrance to our tax base."

The Geary County transient guest rate is six percent. The majority funds CVB general operations and one percent is designated for sports complex use. Tyson noted that the county has talked about a one percent increase and two entities have expressed support for raising the tax by two percent. " That would give us ( County ) an opportunity to partner with the city and school district on future projects. " The commissioner wants for a committee to be formed to work with Main Street and the Chamber of Commerce to see what projects can be proposed for discussion.

Commissioner Keith Ascher noted by way of full disclosure that local hoteliers oppose the proposed increase.

Commissioner Trish Giordano supported looking at the issue and there are some rundown play areas. "I think it would behoove us to look at to be able to host things and bring people into our community. Kids sports is a huge deal."

Mayor Pat Landes noted that city officials have discussed the possible use of ARPA ( American Recovery Act Program ) funds and there was one idea that suggested new playground equipment at Coronado Park on the opposite side of town from the improved Fifth Street Park. The City also does not have a park west of U.S. 77 and would like to have something there soon.

The transient guest tax rate in Manhattan totals 7.5% and in Abilene 8%.

No new action has been taken in Geary County to increase the TGT but the subject is beginning to receive discussion in the public arena.