Commissioners pass 2.5% hotel tax on first reading


CELINA-A hotel occupancy tax for Clay County passed a first reading here earlier this month as county commissioners voted 8-2 to request the state General Assembly pass a private act authorizing the proposal.

Commissioners voted to request the state House and Senate pass a private act levying a 2.5 percent hotel tax for the county. The measure must now be passed by both houses of the General Assembly, and then be passed again by the commission to become law, county mayor Dale Reagan said he had been told by state County Technical Assistance Service officials. 

Commissioners Winton Young and Roger Gray voted against the resolution. 

The resolution defines “hotel” as any structure, space or vessel “intended or designed for occupancy” and includes “any hotel, inn, marina, tourist camp, tourist court, tourist cabin, campground, houseboat, motel” or “any place in which rooms, lodgings or accommodations are furnished to transients for a consideration.”

The resolution was amended at the meeting before the vote to reduce the tax from five per cent to 2.5 percent. Young, Gray and Dorothy Forney voted against that amendment. 

The proceeds from the tax would be used for tourism and economic development, the resolution said, and the county clerk would keep two percent of the total tax money collected by that office. 

In other action at the April meeting, commissioners:

• passed a general purpose school fund budget amendment totaling about $146,000, 

• passed an amended version of the solid waste program write-off policy, and 

• adopted a “county powers act,” dealing with regulatory powers, as authorized by Tennessee Code Annotated.