The fairgrounds is a moneymaker for the county, which we all appreciate. But something seems wrong with this proposal. By raising the county room tax by 1 percent, the fairgrounds wants to increase its present marketing budget from $14,000 to $368,000. If over 350 annual events can be organized on $14,000, then $368,000 is too big an increase.
This proposal is reminiscent of the recent 911 measures. The first proposal asked for too much and was rejected. Only when the proposed increase was reduced to a reasonable amount did it pass on the second vote. Furthermore, roughly half of the fairgrounds expenses are handled through county subsidies. Though the events contribute to the county economy, all taxpayers should get paid back by ensuring that the fairgrounds breaks even before more funds are allocated. There has also been a significant increase in tourism this year, which would also offset the proposed tax increase.
Finally, though the fairgrounds supports many community events and emergency response entities, the tax revenue is only for marketing to groups comprised of more than 50 percent are tourists who live more than 50 miles way. Any other use of this tax revenue would be against the intent of the law.
Your no vote will encourage the county to take another look at the proposal to support our fairgrounds.