To the Editor:
In 2007, the Ellsworth Development Corporation received a hotel/motel tax grant to update and reprint our community brochure. We use the brochure to promote our local businesses. We send it out to the Iowa interstate welcome centers and put it in welcome packets. We give many to Hamilton County S.E.E.D. to help distribute, too. S.E.E.D. puts the brochure in group tour packets that are sent across the Midwest, includes it in visitor information request envelopes and hands out at trade shows/exhibits that they may attend.
Grant funds from the hotel-motel tax helped us bridge the financial gap and enabled us to print the brochure. We're just a small town, but we have a lot to offer. Sister Act brings hundreds of people to town each week, and our parks and ball diamonds do, too. The S.E.E.D. office helps us promote our community and county through marketing that is paid in part by the hotel/motel tax as well.
The hotel/motel tax in the rural areas of Hamilton County is set to expire at the end of 2012; the vote will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. This is a tax paid by people who stay in the hotels, bed and breakfast or Briggs Woods Park cabins - not by Hamilton County people.
Renew the 5 percent hotel/motel tax to help Hamilton County communities like Ellsworth and our businesses and continue to improve central Iowa. I hope you vote "yes" on Nov. 6.