LFDA members say no to additional hotel and motel occupancy fees - 496 responses

Mar 04, 2015

Sen Martha Fuller Clark (D – S21) is the prime sponsor of SB 253, a bill that would allow municipalities to assess hotel and motel occupancy fees of up to $1.00 per night to offset the cost of municipal services. It is not a bill, however, with which many Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) Facebook members expressed support when asked, “Do you agree that NH municipalities should be allowed to add a maximum $1 fee to hotel room charges?” 

In answering the question, 93% of respondents said “no” to the proposed tax, while only 7% indicated they supported it. However, 11% of all respondents did not provide a clear answer to the question and instead discussed broader issues. In sum, the LFDA received specific comments from 116 individuals supported by 365 concurrences for a total of 496 citizen responses.

Representing the majority opinion, many respondents suggested the government find ways to control spending as opposed to implementing an additional tax. “All the efforts by government agencies to raise more revenue in order to meet needs stem from an absolute failure to control spending,” offered one respondent. Other respondents questioned the impact such a tax might have on tourism. One gentleman rhetorically remarked, “What if the tourists didn't come? What if they went to Portland instead? Do you really want to scare them away for a dollar?”

Several of those in favor of the tax, though, expressed the belief that one dollar would not have a prohibitive effect on businesses or tourists. Others cited pragmatic benefits to the bill, including one respondent who said, “This makes far more sense for resort towns overburdened and not seeing the proper redistribution through M & R revenue.” One gentleman noted the increased tax could improve local infrastructures, including roads, as he rhetorically added, “Have you seen the potholes this year? Do you think they're going to fix themselves for free??”

For those who did not provide a direct “yes” or “no” to the question posed by the LFDA, some expressed displeasure at the number of taxes in general that exist in the state. Others offered solutions on how to reduce taxes, including one respondent who noted, “How about a bill to end the pension scheme? Time to privatize pensions for all public sector employees.” 

Click here for the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

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