As chairman of The Prescott Area Coalition for Tourism, owner of a local bed and breakfast, and a resident who enjoys many amenities that bed tax dollars support, I encourage residents to vote "yes" on a modest increase in the transient lodging tax (Bed Tax).
Area hotels, motels and B&Bs collect the bed tax. It comes primarily from tourists using these lodging places, not residents.
The bed tax helps pay for promotional programs to attract tourists to Prescott. During the past five years, every dollar invested in tourism has returned more than $10 to our community. Tourism also supports jobs and amenities such as new restaurants, shopping and special events that our community alone cannot support.
Our tourism promotional budget is not competitive; in fact, it is 70 percent less than those of competing destinations in Northern Arizona. The increase will enable Prescott to expand promotional efforts to atract more tourists year-round.
In addition to supporting direct tourism marketing, 60 percent of the increased revenue will pay for capital improvements by the Prescott Parks and Recreation Department, Prescott Frontier Days marketing, the Christmas Courthouse Lighting and support for the Arts, including the historic Elks Opera House. These activities not only make our city more attractive to the traveling public, but also are a major benefit to the citizens of Prescott.
The majority of the hotels and motels in Prescott support this initiative, and because we have not increased the bed tax in over 20 years, this measure is vital to maintain our position in an increasingly competitive market.
Please vote "yes" to increase the bed tax.