Tourism in Jones Co., Monticello would benefit from Hotel/Motel Tax

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

     The Jones County Tourism Office did as expected to make sure everyone knew their office was doing its job with what money they had available for the entire county. However, Mr. Hatcher failed to highlight exactly what his funding sources amounted to when it came to Monticello.

     The county supervisors provide basic funding for his operation and memberships help to take the edge off some of the expenses. The head tax for the past 30 years he alluded to at 30 cents per person for Monticello would amount to the population (3,796) times that 30 cents or $1,138.80.

     In his letter he did say the rest of the county contributed their Hotel/Motel Taxes, which doesn’t amount to much beyond the occasional bed and breakfast other than Anamosa with its two motels that provide the lion’s share of the Hotel/Motel Tax to his office. You will note Monticello was not included in that. To be sure, his office can always use money to promote our county and all the towns that are included.

     In my previous letter I had written, we have to start working together across the county to achieve the goals we all want. Withholding the money collected from those who stay and pay that tax, rather than use it for the county’s operation to attract tourism is wrong headed. It doesn’t serve those who pay that tax and it doesn’t serve Monticello not to contribute to the best effort to bring tourism to the county and Monticello.

     Could the tourism office do a better job? Obviously to get a better effort on their part it takes financing, that is what the Hotel/Motel Tax was created for so why not use it for its intended purpose in the most efficient and cost effective way; give it to the county tourism office!

Steve Hanken

Monticello, Iowa



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