Letter: Smith offers push for occupancy tax changes

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I’m Travis Smith, and I’m running to be our next state senator here in District 49! I just kicked off my campaign and wanted to thank Mountain Xpress for covering the news on its website.

I was delighted to see two Opinion [items] covering climate change in [the Oct. 17] Mountain X. I’ve been volunteering for three years with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and each month we are inching closer to having a national price on carbon pollution. The bill in both the House and Senate is called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. If you haven’t already, please message your members of Congress to urge their support.

I grew up in Canada and immigrated to the U.S. 11 years ago. I still have family and friends in Canada. [Last month], a very close election just concluded up there, and Justin Trudeau was reelected as prime minister. In part, this was a referendum of approval on the “carbon fee and dividend” approach to pricing carbon pollution that was just implemented in Canada. For those committed to fighting the climate crisis, this is a good week to celebrate.

As a progressive, I’m passionate about making the world a better place. I know North Carolina can have good government that works for everyone! Our teachers should be properly paid, Medicaid expanded, and we need a living wage for Asheville.

Our infrastructure and services need more funding, and I want to see our occupancy tax revenue better used. I applaud this newspaper for its regular coverage on our City Council hotel troubles and how our occupancy tax is broken. Tourists pay us $24 million in annual revenue, but state law mandates that 75% of this revenue has to be spent on more marketing for more tourism. Once in the Senate, I will push to change this so that the city and county can control this tax. We need more funding for infrastructure and services!

I am the only candidate addressing this issue, and I need your support to win the Democratic primary on March 3, 2020! Learn more at TravisSmithNC.com.

— Travis Smith


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5 thoughts on “Letter: Smith offers push for occupancy tax changes

  1. Robin

    More teacher pay, Medicaid expansion, and Living Wage; looks like somebody has been copying and pasting off the NC Democrat website. One word of advice: You’re not going to get elected until the cabal says that you’re gonna get elected. Ask Marc Hunt and Cecil Bothwell about how that rolls.

    Also, if it’ll help; I’ll bet lots of folks would be willing to contribute to a fund that gets you back to Canada. You seem to miss it, along with your family and friends.

    • bsummers

      To sum up:

      • If you agree with the priorities of your constituents, you’re unoriginal;
      • If the party you are a member of is Democratic, you shouldn’t even try;
      • If you’re an American by choice, we don’t want you here. Which is a corollary to the Groucho theory of belonging (“I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”) If you would actually choose to join our club, you’ve demonstrated bad judgment and should go back to where you came from.


  2. Lulz

    LOL ooh look,, a guy complaining about the spending of room taxes wanting to pass even more taxes. And these carbon taxes are to be used as what? Ooh to punish consumers with the money going to more pork and waste of course. No thanks.

  3. Enlightened Enigma

    looks like yet another silly progressive democrackkk seeking CONTROL….they all do…why are NC democrackkks SO evil ?

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