To the Editor:
I have been reading the news regarding the Jackson County Occupancy Tax and the discussion around the Travel and Tourism Association (TTA) versus a Tourism Development Authority (TDA). I cannot help but look at the abbreviation TTA as Taxing Tourists Aggressively and TDA as Taxing to Death our Assets.
For too long county commissioners of all stripes have looked to sources of tax revenue within their counties that they could sell as effecting only people conveniently outside their voting base.
Here’s a novel idea: instead of taxing and spending more, I’d like to see our county live within its means. We may initiate expansion under the premise of a tourist tax but delays, cost overruns and other factors invariably feed the tax-and-spend death spiral for which we the residents will ultimately pay for in one fashion or another.
Our environment has produced a thriving tourist industry. Our county’s hotels, restaurants, gift shops and construction industry rely heavily on these persons. Why bite the hand that feeds us? We should instead hold to a competitive edge that encourages these tourists to spend their money here in Jackson County.