Danville council to weigh hotel-motel tax increase after NJCAA tournament deal done

Danville council to weigh hotel-motel tax increase after NJCAA tournament deal done

DANVILLE — A slight increase in Danville's hotel-motel tax may be back in play with the recent announcement that the National Junior College Athletic Association has chosen Danville Area Community College to host its men's basketball tournament for another three years.

A 1- to 2-percentage-point increase in the city's 6 percent hotel-motel tax was part of Mayor Rickey Williams' original budget proposal in February, but aldermen have balked at voting on it more than once as officials with DACC and the Danville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau were going through the process of bidding on the tournament in recent weeks.

The event brings college teams and their fans to Danville area hotels for several days in March, and the tax would likely mean an increase in visitors' hotel bills. Last month was DACC's 26th year hosting the national tournament, and it will now continue to do so through at least 2023.

During Tuesday's city council meeting, aldermen are expected to approve the spending plan for the fiscal year that begins May 1, and Williams hopes to convince them to approve a 1 percent boost to the hotel-motel tax as part of that plan, which would infuse additional money into the city's park and public properties.

The city put two drafts of the budget on public display, and the second still includes the hotel-motel tax increase, said Williams, who also hopes to convince aldermen to save a city-led program called "First Fridays" that promotes the downtown business district by including a $1,000-per-month stipend for a person to organize those events. The position that currently handles that work is slated to be eliminated.

Of the revenue that would be generated by a 7 percent hotel-motel tax, 57.1 percent would go to the David S. Palmer Arena, 14.3 percent to the convention and visitors bureau, 14.3 percent to the city-owned Harrison Park Golf Course and 14.3 percent to the city's parks and public properties, which do not currently any of that revenue.

The city council meets at 6 p.m. at the Danville municipal building, 17 W. Main St.

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