Lodging taxes increase from 3 to 6 percent in Pelham

Published 7:17 pm Monday, February 15, 2016

The Pelham City Council votes to increase lodging taxes in city. (File)

The Pelham City Council votes to increase lodging taxes in city. (File)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— Lodging taxes in Pelham will increase from 3 to 6 percent beginning April 1 after a decision by the Pelham City Council at its Feb. 15 meeting.

The council unanimously voted to modify the lodging tax and use the proceeds collected from the increase to support general operations of the city, the Pelham Commercial Development Authority and the employment of an economic development authority.

This ordinance was originally introduced at a July 20, 2015, City Council meeting. At the meeting, City Council President Rick Hayes said this issue has long been a topic of discussion, especially the employment of an economic development professional.

“A professional can significantly help with bringing in business and actively, and proactively, going out and helping our current businesses by expanding them,” Hayes said.

At that time, some area hotel owners and managers expressed concerns with the increase. Annie Gilbert, the general manager at Comfort Suites in Pelham, said she thought the decision would negatively affect business at the hotel.

She said that the hotel already has a “high lodging tax” and that raising the lodging tax would cause them to lose revenue. If the tax for lodging increases, Gilbert said Comfort Suites would have to raise rates.

Samket Desai, manager of Holiday Inn Express Pelham, said the decision would “most definitely” negatively affect his business, stating that travelers will pass the city and choose to lodge in Jefferson County instead.

The City Council also,

  • Appointed Charles R. Rabon to the Pelham Beautification Board to fill the unexpired term of Joel Price.
  • Approved a special use permit for Verizon Wireless for the co-location and construction of equipment on the existing tower facility located at 2030 Valleydale Terrace.
  • Approved two ABC licenses for retail beer and table wine, off premises only, for Circle K Stores, Inc. The Circle K Stores are located at 715 Cahaba Valley Road and 7994 Helena Road.
  • Authorized the mayor to enter into a development agreement with Grey Oaks Properties, LLC, and the Pelham Planning Commission.
  • Heard a first reading to amend the Pelham business license ordinance to provide for licensing of “Transit and passenger Transportation.”
  • Heard a first reading to rezone the property located in Hayesbury Commercial Park from an agricultural district to a general business district.
  • Heard a first reading to amend an ordinance establishing compensation of the mayor and city council members.