Bemidji Hotels Voice Concerns Over Hospitality Tax
During Monday’s state of the city address, when speaking about the Sanford Center, Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht said that all property owners both business and residential are helping support Bemidji’s event center through property taxes. She added that just over 5,000 taxable parcels in the city fund the entire subsidy, which is why some members of the city council says there is a need for a hospitality tax. The hospitality tax is said to offer property tax relief, some Bemidji hotel owners don’t see it that way. They see it as another tax just added to the cost of doing business in Bemidji.
For the Super 8 that sits on the northwest side of Bemidji, when events are held at the Sanford Center the Super 8 does not see a direct impact, feeling that the tax would only penalizes the business. For two of Bemidji’s largest hotels, the Hampton Inn and the Double Tree hotel, it’s the need to see successful results coming out of the Sanford Center before adding a tax to pay for it.
If the city was to remove the Sanford Centers management company VenuWorks, some business owners could be more open to supporting the idea. One common theme shared among these business owners is being responsible and working within a budget. The hospitality tax has a long way to go before it would become reality. Right now the city of Bemidji is seeking public opinion and is looking to build support for the tax.