To the Editor:
The Hotel/Motel Tax in the unincorporated parts of Hamilton County is set to expire at the end of 2012; the matter will be on the ballot in November. I would encourage voters to consider renewing this 5 percent tax. This tax is paid by guests who stay in the motels in the unincorporated areas of the county - the Best Western Norseman Inn and the Boondocks, both near Williams; and the Briggs Woods Park cabins - not by Hamilton County residents.
Our attraction, The Hemken Collection, has benefitted from state-wide advertising and printed materials such as brochures, visitors guides and group tour packets, paid for out of the approximately $14,000 annual revenue. The purpose of these marketing efforts is to boost tourism in our area. Tourism in Iowa is a big industry. Travelers added $6.6 billion to Iowa's economy in 20120, the year for which the most recent statistics ae available.
Physical improvements such as the handicapped-accessible entry to the museum were funded in part by a grant from the Hotel/Motel tax funds.
I encourage voters to support the Hotel/Motel tax whose purpose is to promote Hamilton County tourism.