The Grayson Tourism & Convention Commission has put its grants on hold as they wait for the funds to come in from unpaid hotel taxes.
This is an unfortunate reality of the situation in Carter County and the collection of tourism taxes. By The commission has been attempting to get the hotels to pay the tourism taxes collected from those who rent rooms in Grayson hotels for several months now. As Jeremy Wells reported last week, Commission Chair Mindy Woods-Click recently met Grayson city attorney Jason Greer to begin the process of filing liens on the properties.
This led to some hotels turning in some of their tax funds minus the late fees.
From Wells' story:
"The (tourism and convention commission) chose to put all grants on hold last month, with three groups currently "on the table" for grant support once the commission begins receiving their funds from the area hotels. The three groups requesting grant support from the commission include the Carter County Fair Board, the Grayson Rotary Club for the Funtoberfest celebration, and the Grayson Fire Department for their Hometown Holidays displays."
While the board is also waiting on some late fees to be paid from the restaurant tax, all restaurants have paid their taxes as required. The hotels, however, continue to hold out on payments and fail to pay late fees and penalties as laid out in the city's statutes.
While the funds from the hotel tax are distributed to the commission, the taxes are collected by the city of Grayson, who then remits them to tourism.
"This needs to be enforced," Woods-Click told the commission.
These taxes are in place for a reason. They support important projects, including tourism efforts.The commission also recently was hit with a 19,000 cost to fix sewage lines at the tourism cabin at the Grayson Gallery & Art Center.
We agree with the commission working with city attorney Jason Greer to get these liens in place. No one likes to pay taxes. We certainly don't. However, there is a greater purpose in place when it comes to these funds and local officials should proceed forward, within reason, to get these revenues collected. Doing so is good for the community in the long run.