Memphis City Council To Discuss Hotel Tax For Pre-K Funding Tuesday

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Some Midsouth children don't have the opportunity to enroll in pre-kindergarten programs. Not all schools offer it, and some parents can't afford it. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says that's shameful, so he's pushing the city council to find the money, in the hotel industry.

It's a discussion they plan to have at Tuesday’s council meeting. 

Councilman Kemp Conrad says the money is needed now more than ever, especially since the county will lose nearly $8 million in pre-k funding, when a federal grant expires in 2019.

Council members say they can make up more than $3.5 million of that money, by increasing the hotel/motel tax from 3.5 %, to the maximum 5 % allowed by state law.

But, not everyone thinks that's a good plan.

Wayne Tabor is the President of the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel and Lodging Association. He says the council has yet to include the hotel industry in this discussion, and feels a tax increase would make Memphis less desirable as a tourist destination, and could even lead to job cuts.

"If there is a downturn in our business because of taxation, one of the highest costs we have is labor costs. We would have to layoff folks if our business went down. Is kind of an odd situation when your taxing an industry to try to help some of our folks that are working, that could ultimately affect their employment," says Tabor.

Tabor says to put into perspective how much money locals are already spending in taxes with hotels, if your room costs $90, $20 of that amount is for taxes.

Voters rejected a half-cent city sales tax increase back in 2013, that would have gone towards pre-k funding.


Don't Miss

  • Find It
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Win Tickets to See the RiverKings
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • You Could Get Your Mortgage Paid for a Year!
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Featured Employers
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News