Letters to the editor – Thursday (2-5-09)

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Reasons to raise Rowan hotel tax Monday I went to the Rowan County commissioners meeting to voice my support, along with the Tourism Development Authority, to increase the hotel occupancy tax rate from 3 percent to 6 percent. There are two main reasons this is an important issue to me and other local business owners. First, the increase would bring this tax in line with surrounding counties. All counties on I-85 between South Carolina and Greensboro have 6 percent rates. Rowan County’s 3 percent rate has not been increased in 18 years. The increasing cost to do business in the last 18 years alone is enough to justify the 6 percent.
Second, the increase would boost Rowan County’s economy. Job layoffs and business closings have made Rowan one of the hardest hit counties in the state. There’s no question that 2009 is going to be a very tough year for our local economy. The tax increase would enable the Tourism Development Authority to market Rowan more aggressively and bring in more visitors spending money in our local businesses, without cost to the county or its taxpayers.
At the meeting, a motion was made to increase the rate to 6 percent. Sadly, the motion died for lack of a second.
ó Pam Hylton Coffield
Too many excuses
Trying to understand the events in Washington since the election, I actually applied an experience in Rowan Court last week. A woman stands before the judge. “Well, judge, I did not see the stop sign. Nobody is perfect. Please let me go free …”
“Well, judge, I might smell like alcohol and only drove 90 miles, and I have $14,000 in my pocket, but I still need an attorney assigned to me …”
ó Dan Patterson