Bemidji City Council Makes No Decision On Hospitality Tax
The Bemidji City Council met tonight to discuss possibly adding a new hospitality tax to help bring a wellness facility to Bemidji. The proposed building would include a two-sheet ice complex and a multi-purpose courts to support youth sports.
Facilitators of the project say the center is what Bemidji needs to help attract tourists and to market itself as a huge player in the amateur sports world. One speaker at the meeting said, “you think about soccer, you think about football, you think about all the different sports that could drive tournaments right here and best of all our kids don’t have to always go to the Twin Cities to go to tournaments, which I think some of the hockey folks are doing every dog gone week of the year.”
The board did not make any decisions on adding the hospitality tax tonight.
Many argue the city should put the money into the buildings the city already has, such as the Sanford Center. Right now, part of a property tax goes to the Sanford Center.
“What my biggest concern is that our facility is really already aging and there are going to be large replacement costs, capital costs in that facility in order to keep it functional and up to date and to keep it as a place people will want to continue to come decade after decade. We don’t have the money for that,” says Ward 5 councilor Nancy Erickson.
Another discussion about the new facility and hospitality tax will be held next Tuesday at Bemidji’s Mayflower Building at 4 in the afternoon – anyone is welcome to attend.