GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – “We’re going to lose the business first of all,” said Days Inn owner Kevin Patel.
Patel owns the only hotel in Gray that takes customers.
It’s those customers he’s worried about losing because of a possible hotel tax in the city.
“Because of the rate and plus taxes that 5 dollar tax, Georgia 7 % and then whatever the city is bringing in, I don’t know,” said Patel. “So that’s going to make what, 14, 15% tax.”
It ends up being about 5% of the total room rate in addition to other taxes the state and city charge.
Patel’s room rate starts at $58 without tax.
“58 dollars plus tax right now that’s 9 dollars and 6 cents,” said Patel. “If you add another 5 or 6% on, it’s going to be 10, 15 dollars in tax, and that customer won’t come back in Gray.”
The Gray City Council plans to vote on the hotel motel tax Monday.
“I don’t see why we’re imposing this type of tax on a single business owner in a bedroom community,” said Gray Mayor Stephen Tingen.
Tingen isn’t in favor.
“Last year we grew our fund balance after our expenses by 455 thousand dollars,” said Tingen.
But Hayley Watson from the Chamber of Commerce says the city could focus on money to promote tourism, which part of the tax would go toward.
“They can give the whole 5% to tourism, which I feel like would be a huge benefit to our community because we could do more events,” said Watson. “We could help advertise and promote Old Clinton War Days, which is a huge event for our community.”
Watson doesn’t believe it would hurt Patel’s business that much.
“So if I’m really going to stay in Gray, what’s the two dollars or three dollars gonna be–I mean I’m going to spend that in gas to stay in Macon, then I’m also going to pay an 8 percent tax in Macon which is based on the room rate, and Macon room rates are already higher than the room rate in Gray,” said Watson.
But Patel says it would end his business in the city.
“We’re going to have to something else,” said Patel. “We’d have to move out of Gray.”
The council votes at their next meeting.