Editorial -- Nething, Potter have the right idea regarding state's lodging tax
"We don't do enough to promote tourism. And I think that we've more than received the return we were promised when we do put money into tourism." "Tourism needs a dedicated source of funding related to the agency's own success at bringing people ...
"We don't do enough to promote tourism. And I think that we've more than received the return we were promised when we do put money into tourism."
"Tourism needs a dedicated source of funding related to the agency's own success at bringing people to North Dakota. The statewide lodging tax has been an unqualified success."
These two statements finally hit the mark regarding the needs of tourism in North Dakota. Amazingly, the two statements come from opposites sides of the political aisle.
The first is by Sen. Dave Nething, R-Jamestown, a longtime lawmaker whose own community has seen numerous perks from its "buffalo" distinction. The second is by Sen. Tracy Potter, D-Bismarck, a former state tourism employee who currently is president of the Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation. Potter received the Tourism Industry Leader Award in 2005 and the GNDA Tourism Development Award in 1997.
Both were speaking about the 1 percent lodging tax that lawmakers first approved in 2003 to finance the state's advertising and preparations for the Lewis and Clark bicentennial celebration. Both favor eliminating the June 30, 2007, expiration date associated with the original bill and extending the tax to generate funds for tourism in the state.
The Senate approved SB2258 to eliminate the expiration date and keep the tax by a 27-18 vote Friday. It now goes to the House for consideration.
Potter says the revenues the tax raises have been multiplied by the state's tourism promotion efforts. He also noted motel operators who originally fought the tax have greatly benefited from it.
We couldn't agree more with either Nething or Potter. Both are right regarding the needs of tourism in this state, which we again reiterate is our second largest industry behind agriculture.
We congratulate the Senate on its support of this measure and strongly encourage their colleagues in the House to do the same.