Motels

LETTER: Proposed motel tax could hurt residents

“Many of those who live in our community have had to resort to alternative housing options: couch surfing, sleeping in cars and, yes, living in motels”

MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] Please include your phone number and daytime address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter concerns Midland’s proposal to increase taxes on motels and hotels.
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Dear Editor,

Simcoe County, which includes the City of Midland, is not only experiencing an affordable housing crisis, we are also experiencing a housing shortage crisis.

Many who live in our community have had to resort to alternative housing options: couch surfing, sleeping in cars and, yes, living in motels. I am one of those residents and the motel I live in is almost entirely filled with residents, not tourists. Some of us have been living here for a year or more, full time. Many of us are single adults, paid or contract employees (jobs with beginnings and endings that are essential jobs in our communities). It is nearly impossible to find rental housing without a full-time, permanent job that pays well above minimum wage. We pay a monthly rate for our room rentals, not $100 per night or more as the City of Midland assumes.

Motels and hotels are not the same and should not be treated the same when it comes to municipal taxation. If the City of Midland raises taxes on motel properties, it will be forced to raise our monthly rents, which will put many residents like me on the street. How will we be able to do our jobs if we don’t have a place to shower, cook meals or even go to the bathroom?

Please, knowing that motel rooms are homes, contact the City of Midland and ask council to reconsider raising taxes on these important forms of sustainable housing.

Ute Schmid Jones
Midland

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