Open letter to the Jefferson city council – Michael F. Mumma

Dear Council Members,

I am usually supportive of the council’s decisions and appreciate the time you devote; however, in the last few weeks you have made a decision with which I heartily disagree.

This decision involves the hotel/motel tax. On August 7, 2001, the voters of Jefferson authorized a 7 percent tax on the gross receipts of lodging rentals and “direct that at least 80 percent of the revenue from this tax be paid to the Jefferson (now Greene County) Area Chamber of Commerce for the promotion and encouragement of tourism and convention business in the city and surrounding areas. The remaining 20 percent shall be directed to the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Jefferson.”

The Chamber has been working to secure funding not only to supplement dues for its operation but also to create and operate a Welcome Center adjacent to the Thomas Jefferson Gardens. Certainly a centrally located Welcome Center in an attractive location fits the definition of “the promotion and encouragement of tourism.”

You have now adopted a convoluted three-tier policy that short changes the Chamber in its quest to make the Welcome Center a reality. You believe you have the legal authority to vary the allocation of the tax revenues but, by doing so, you have breached the trust of the voters of Jefferson.

Your actions are a violation of trust of the voters, an overreach, and I urge you to seriously reconsider your actions on this issue in the near future.

Respectfully submitted, Michael F. Mumma, Jefferson

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