Work to do before tourism tax vote

An EDITORIAL

     City of Grenada voters will soon have the opportunity to vote on a tourism tax increase intended to fund a sports complex.

      House Bill #1563, which was signed into law after passing the last session of the state legislature, gives the Grenada City Council the authority to set an election date for voters to decide on raising the tax on prepared food and liquor from one percent to two percent, and raising the tax on motel rooms from two percent to three percent.

     Sixty percent of those voting must approve the tax increase for it to become law.

     Before Grenadians vote for this increase we believe there needs to be an in-depth feasibility study to answer the following questions:

  • How much is the project going to cost to build?
  • Will there be a bond issue? If so, for how much?
  • How much does the city currently owe?
  • Where is the best location for the complex?
  • What is the projected direct annual revenue of such a complex?
  • What is the projected annual operating expense?
  • Can the operating expense and the bond service expense, be covered out of tourism tax increase revenue alone?
  • What is the projected economic impact of the completed project?
  • How detrimental is the competition from other cities?
  • Will it be operated by a third party, or run by the city like the Dogwoods Golf Course?

     We have some additional questions, but we strongly feel that an in-depth feasibility study, including detailed operational profile and profit-and-loss projections need to be produced and studied by the city council and the voters before the city sets an election date.