Hotel tax measure sent to subcommittee

Post staff reports

Members of the State Legislature sent a measure to raise the hotel-motel tax in Wilson County back to a subcommittee on Tuesday for additional study.

State legislators have been asked by Wilson County Commission to pass the increase as a private act, the revenue from which would be used to construct a proposed Wilson County Expo Center at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center.

Hotel-motel owners are opposed to the increase, which, if passed, would allow a hike of up to 3 percent in the tax. County officials have said they anticipate only 1 percent of the proposed 3 percent would be needed to fund construction.

Hotel-motel owners have said that guests traveling for business and groups will choose elsewhere to stay if taxes are raised too much.

If the measure is given final approval, Mt. Juliet would have the highest hotel-motel tax in the county. Mt. Juliet’s rate is presently 16.25 percent. Lebanon is next with its current rate of 14.25 percent. Wilson County’s rate is 12.25 percent. These amounts include state sales tax of 7 percent and the county sales tax of 2.25 percent.