The village of Sunbury doesn’t have any hotels, but it now has a bed tax.
A 3% excise tax for lodging at a hotel or “transient accommodations” was approved at the Dec. 18 meeting of the Sunbury Village Council. A hotel (and motel) was defined as having five or more rooms for sleeping; the “transient accommodations” refer to four or less rooms for sleeping in one or more structures. The guests would be staying for less than 30 consecutive days.
The revenue earned from the tax would be deposited into Sunbury’s general fund.
“Being a 1% income tax village, we’re always looking for impact fees,” said Village Solicitor Dave Brehm. “Berkshire Township already has it (a bed tax). This would establish fees for capturing our local statutory share.”
“This is going to get us in the game,” said Mayor Tommy Hatfield. “This will make us more competitive than Polaris (in fees).”
“Everybody does this,” added Councilman Joe St. John, prior to council’s unanimous vote.
Sunbury’s recent expansion to the western edge of Berkshire Township and its proximity to Interstate 71 improves the chance for a hotel to be built within the village limits in the coming years.
Also during the meeting, council approved a future development agreement between the village and the Big Walnut Board of Education. Brehm said the mediation between the two was a good process regarding sanitary sewer fees that can now move forward.
For its part, the school board approved the agreement during its Dec. 12 meeting.
In other Sunbury news, Administrator Allen Rothermel told council the village’s trash contract with Local Waste Services expires March 31, 2020. He said the Village of Galena is also preparing bid specifications.
“We hope to compare our bid packages early next month and see if there may be some advantages in working together,” Rothermel said.
Hatfield said Sunbury and Genoa Township once had a joint contract with a trash hauler in the past, and he noted Sunbury and Galena now share a subdivision.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.