BELLEVUE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The city of Bellevue will set up a 3% tourist tax for hotels, motels and short-term rental properties of 30 days or less, in the hope that the money raised can be used for much-needed repairs to streets and roads.
The by-law was passed unanimously by city council this week. In May, Bellevue voters approved a LOT tax increase by a wide margin, 286 for and 70 against implementing the tax.
According to city officials, the reason for the occupancy tax is that Bellevue depends on travelers staying in the city or passing through other resort towns, and the motorist levies a toll on their roads, streets and infrastructure. Therefore, the tax burden should not be passed on to residents.
Council Speaker Doug Brown said the tax would raise about $82,000 a year for street repairs and other needs. He said that in the past, the council had considered various grants to improve road conditions in the past.
“…Then another grant said you had to have a whole bunch of matching money and we didn’t,” Brown said. “So it’s really a step forward for Bellevue. It gives us a chance to find matches, it gives us a chance to redouble our efforts to fix the streets.
Brown said that in addition to the Silver Creek Hotel and the High Country Motel, there were a few other smaller hotel-motels in the area, and somewhere between six and nine short-term rental properties in the area.
The ordinance will come into effect on July 1.
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