Decatur City Council members consider lodging tax increase to fund ‘quality-of-life’ projects

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 11:53 AM CST
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Decatur City Council members are considering a new way to pay for some fun projects around town.

They may increase taxes for visitors coming to the river city and that may include an increase in the lodging tax — the money you pay when you stay at a hotel or short-term campground.

Alabama’s state lodging tax is 5%. Decatur’s lodging tax is 7%, according to the Decatur Daily.

Most cities in North Alabama have a lodging tax of 9%. Decatur City Council President Jacob Ladner said the council is considering matching the percentage or possibly raising it to 10%.

The Decatur Daily reports the percentage increase could bring in an extra $600,000 to a million dollars every year. Councilman Kyle Pike says this could go towards ‘quality-of-life’ projects like improving older parks and adding bike trails and splash pads.

One main concern is making sure rates stay competitive and affordable. There’s a ceiling for hotel rates and they want to make sure they can stay over it.

Ladner says the City Attorney is drafting the ordinance change now. He says he’s planning on presenting the plan at the upcoming work session on Jan. 30.