Decatur City Council set to vote on hotel tax

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Lincoln's bicentennial may have come and gone but the city of Decatur is looking at ways to maintain a higher hotel tax rate that was set in place to support looking for Lincoln events.

It was a two percent increase that may just make the increase permanent.

"There's a lot going on here for the city," said Scott Hall, General Manager, Decatur Conference Center and Hotel.

From walking tours to historic sculptures, there's no doubt the looking for Lincoln campaign helped Decatur earn a pretty penny or two. 

"The booking trend is great," Hall said. "Now the economy is soft, but we seem to be a little bit more insulated here in Decatur in some ways."

Though Lincoln's bicentennial birthday has come and gone, city leaders in Decatur are looking at ways to continue to ride the wave. City Manager Ryan McCrady says several city council members have already spoke out in favor of keeping the hotel rate at six percent by keeping the two percent looking for Lincoln tax on the books.

McCrady and other city council leaders say the tax will help make up for the deficit the city of Decatur faces. But Hall hopes the city will spread the wealth.

"The hotels generate revenue for the city and it would be nice that the hotels ie, the convention visitors bureau, would see some of that money or additional money be placed in their hands to support the city more," said Hall.

Hall says the convention center is one of a few taxable entities that can make a profit and drive revenue for downtown Decatur.

"By giving more money to the CVB to promote Decatur, we'll actually bring more money into taxes," Hall said.

The Decatur City Council will meet Tuesday night to discuss permanently keeping the hotel rate at six percent.

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