PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Pierre voters expressed their support Tuesday for an Occupancy Tax. Residents of the Capital City gave overwhelming approval to the tax-to be imposed at ten hotels in town that have 25 or more rooms. Just over 2,600 people-or about 80% of voters said yes to the tax. 682 residents voted no. It’s believed that the tax of $2.00 per night, per room, will generate at least $300,000 each year. Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill says she is happy that voters chose to join other South Dakota cities and impose the Occupancy Tax in the community.
Gill says the city is required to give residents the chance to weigh in when a new tax is proposed.
Gill says the tax will begin to be imposed for visitors who stay in Pierre’s larger lodging establishments in the next few months.
The money raised through the tax is to be used for tourism promotions and public facility improvements. A Business Improvement District board has been set up to manage the funds from the tax. The board-made up of Mayor Gill, hotel owners and business leaders, has already had two meetings. The group will gather in coming weeks to lay out how tax funds will be spent. Their recommendations will then go to the city commission. Gill says the BID board meetings are open to the public.
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