Letter: Spend occupancy taxes on our community

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Commissioners Approve $4.9M for Pre-K Expansion, Affordable Housing,” May 11, Xpress:] I am definitely of the opinion that the occupancy tax should continue to be collected. Goodness knows, we have no shortage of tourists, so we don’t need to offer them a tax-break incentive to come!

But I am equally certain that tax should be spent on our community, not on more tourism. If we could see more of the economic benefit of our tourism industry, perhaps that industry could be appreciated more as an asset to our community. I say to use the money toward food insecurity, homelessness, city cleanups and affordable housing. Heck, we should also spend it on taking care of our parks and recreational areas; goodness knows they get a lot of wear and tear from all the visitors.

Before I moved, I was a visitor here to Asheville many times in the past, and I would never have begrudged that extra tax going to help take care of the city I loved to visit so much. And I certainly wouldn’t have really noticed it among all the other outgoing cash flows for everything on my trip. It’s part of traveling. Particularly when you travel to a big tourist area or an area with sensitive natural areas or limited natural resources.

I think it would be a ridiculous waste of revenue to stop collecting a tax that visitors are used to paying. But it certainly should be used to benefit the community and keep it the strong, wonderful place that people would like to visit.

— Brandi Andrade


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One thought on “Letter: Spend occupancy taxes on our community

  1. Brooke Heaton

    By NC State law, the MOST we can allocated to the community is 33%. That’s it. If you want to reform this, stop levying the tax and start anew. The entire drawn out conversation has gone in circles so long it’s absurd. Axe the tax and abolish the TDA.

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