Council May Boost Hotel Bed Tax

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When the Payson Town Council established a bed tax in the 1980s, it didn't stipulate that the money had to be used for tourism, Town Attorney Sam Streichman said.

Streichman told council members Thursday that if they enacted an amendment to the bed tax ordinance, they would have to follow the state's Model City Tax Code which bars the town from earmarking the money for any specific purpose.

"We're free to chose what to tax and how much," he said.

Mayor Vern Stiffler said, "If it is the intent of this council that these monies be targeted for tourism, we can include this as a policy in the budget process."

The current bed tax, which only affects hotels and motels in Payson, is about 2 percent or $1 a night per room. The proposed amendment to the ordinance would raise the tax to 3 percent of each hotel's lodging business.

In other business, the council approved a request filed by Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner to award the construction contract for the town's new police station to Amon Construction for $1.45 million.

Amon's bid, which was the lowest of 11 submitted, was $93,000 over the amount budgeted by the town. The five lowest bidders were, however, very close, Gartner said.

"With the closeness of the bids," Stiffler said, "we're really confident with the design."

The council also voted to accept the preliminary plat for Rim Overlook Phase 2. The project, which includes 144 condominiums in six buildings, will be built on nine acres north of the town's multi-event center construction site at 1200 South McLane Road.

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