FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
I read with interest the article in today's paper titled, “Rotary Club hears pitch for tourism”. I work at one of the two local hotes mentioned in the article. And as it concerns an occupancy tax, I would like to throw my two cents in (some may think that's all it's worth), it would cause a major hardship for both of the local hotels. I am sure Ms. Bailey-Taylor is wonderful at what she does, however, has she ever driven through the parking lot of either hotel on a Friday or Saturday night? Especially from October to March? What exactly does Tarboro have that's going to bring the tourist's in droves that would make an occupancy tax feasible? Yes, we have beautiful gardens, a beautiful town common, and by far some of the friendliest people in the state. We have wonderful restaurants but only a few that could be termed family restaurants. Our move theater only shows one movie a night due to non-support of our local residents. Yes, older people love to come in the spring, see the gardens, and tour beautiful homes. What would the average family bring their kids to see? Teenagers have no interest in gardens and historical homes. They want skating rinks, bowling alleys, movie theaters, etc. We need (in my opinion) to concentrate on bringing in employment and lots of it, before we start thinking of ways to cause underutilized businesses more hardships by making it even harder cost wise to get business. I applaud Ms. Lautzenheizer to be able to afford to not have to consider “an occupancy tax a factor” in her choice in accommodations, however, in this economy, many people have to take every dime into consideration. Again, I say lets concentrate on bringing in business to utilize the facilities here and get our economy stabilized, then and only then worry about costing our long standing businesses more money.