Springfield tourism officials call for tax increase on city hotels and motels

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Officials at the Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau want the tax on the city’s hotels and motels to increase.

Tourism officials say the city’s current tax on hotels and motels is not enough. They want it to go from 5% to 7.5%.

The city’s hotel and motel tax was a legislative priority at recent Springfield City Council meetings.

For the past four years, officials in the city of Springfield have attempted to increase the tax to rates similar to those in St. Louis and Kansas City. The money would be used to build new sports facilities. However, the state terminated the requests.

City officials have said that if the state approves a tax increase, it will be put to a public vote.

Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau president and CEO Tracy Kimberlin said he didn’t understand how the state wouldn’t let them raise this tax to improve their sporting events.

“Well, it’s frustrating,” Kimberlin said. “It gives us an unfair advantage. We can’t build the facilities they built with their increases because we don’t have that source of funding. So, frankly, it’s not fair.

Kimberlin said the current facilities are aging. The city wants to keep adding events so that hotels can attract customers.

But Madalyn Faucett, general manager of the Walnut Street Inn, a family-run bed and breakfast, said a tax increase could hurt their business.

“It’s a little alarming,” Faucett said. “Increase it in addition to what we are already experiencing, the effects of COVID and how it could affect the accommodation community. It just seems like it’s a little inappropriate to raise taxes for this.

Faucett said it would be another hurdle for his business.

“As a local family business, every penny counts. Every penny and penny really matters, ”said Faucett. “So that would be just another thing that we have to find a way to get over. “

Kimberlin said a tax increase would benefit all accommodation businesses in Springfield.

“From a sport perspective, I think all hotels benefit from sport,” Kimberlin said. “The sportsmen have come and painted vans and uniforms, and most of them are children. Although we also run a lot of adult tournaments, they are very recognizable.

Kimberlin also said the tax would affect Springfield businesses, and only hotel and motel customers, not the general public.

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