County passes new hotel tax

The Young County Commissioners Court passed a resolution Monday, Nov. 13 adopting a county hotel occupancy tax of 2 percent within the incorporated city limits of Graham and 5 percent in the rest of Young County, but will revisit the resolution after researching the county’s eligibility.

The goal of this tax is to provide additional renovations, support and promotion to Fort Belknap, Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Sipes said. The effective start date of the resolution would be Jan. 1, and the tax would continue indefinitely unless voted down by a majority of the Young County Commissioners Court.

“We discussed this with (Cooke County) Judge (Jason) Brinkley who is responsible for these documents that are in front of you today, and after visiting with him and the mayor of Gainesville, I was assured that this was the right thing for us to do,” Sipes said. “This will enable us to not only repair and restore and renovate the fort, it will also give us the ability to put Fort Belknap in the proper light in this region of Texas and as a matter of fact, in the whole state of Texas.”

Sipes partnered with the Graham Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau in order to establish how he could approach the tax in the county. He said he hopes that more events could happen at the fort with the funding and believes it is just the beginning for growth.

“Restoration is just a beginning place for the occupancy tax,” Sipes said. “As you all know, we have several functions going on out there – Fort Belknap Days, Crawfish and Cannons – that are lacking from monetary energy and need help, but they are the beginning places for some very strong tourism functions at Fort Belknap.”

A vote of 4-1 passed the resolution in its current form and the commissioners said they would modify the resolution later when they receive clarification on whether or not the county is eligible to obtain 2 percent from inside the city of Graham.

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The Graham Leader

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