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Pillow Tax Proposal In Brookings

January 26, 2012, 5:05 PM by Peggy Moyer

Pillow Tax Proposal In Brookings
BROOKINGS, SD - A pillow tax could raise the price of an overnight stay in Brookings.

Generating more traffic through Brooking's hotels is the reason the community is discussing a new $2 pillow tax. Pillow tax is another name for an occupancy tax charged on hotel rooms.

"Ultimately, what we want to do is we want to generate enough activity that our hotels are just busting at the seams," Brookings Community Development Director Mike Struck said.

Struck says hotels are full on the weekends now, but attracting more events in town during the week would fill up the rooms Sundays through Thursdays. Money collected from the proposed pillow tax would pay for the additional marketing.

Even though the pillow tax would be collected from hotel guests only, Struck says the majority of hotel managers are on board.

"Our intentions are to proceed forward for the good of the community and really we're trying to help their own industry grow," Struck said.

Struck says state law limits occupancy taxes to $2, but points out it’s higher than sales taxes in other states.

A public hearing and vote on the tax is scheduled for February 28th. If it passes, there could be a waiting period to allow hotels time to adjust.

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