The Scottsbluff City Council Monday evening gave their initial approval to a four percent occupational tax on hotel accommodations to assist with continued declines in sales tax receipts.
Scottsbluff City Manager Nathan Johnson told the Council that sales tax receipts have shown a decline in 4 of the past 7 months, with April tax revenues currently down 7.75%
Fr. John Sorensen from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church spoke in favor of the ordinance, maintaining it was a way to diversify revenues, help the general fund, and fund special projects . Local hotel owner Terry Jessen spoke in opposition, saying there would be a tendency for people not to stay in Scottsbluff, but rather opt for Sidney, Ogallala or somewhere else.
A motion to waive three readings of the lodging tax ordinance ordinance died on a lack of a second, so the ordinance will have to be read two more times before going into effect.