STURTEVANT — Before the Village of Sturtevant gets its first hotel or motel, it will likely have a room tax ordinance in place.
The Village Board had a first reading Tuesday of a new room tax ordinance that, like other local municipalities, would govern the collection and use of room taxes from any hotels or motels to come.
“Basically, we just wanted to be ahead of the game in case, someday, there is a hotel constructed,” Village President Jayme Hoffman explained. With Foxconn Technology Group building a $10 billion advanced-manufacturing campus in nearby Mount Pleasant, the likelihood of Sturtevant getting future lodging businesses seems to increase, he said.
The ordinance also puts in place a relationship with Real Racine, the county visitors bureau.
According to the ordinance still awaiting a second reading and Village Board approval, an 8 percent room tax would be imposed on “accommodations that are available to the public, irrespective of whether membership is required for the use of those accommodations.”
Of the collected taxes, 75 percent would go to a Tourism Commission also created by the ordinance. It specifies a six-person commission appointed by the village president with Village Board approval. That body would be comprised of:
- Two representatives for the local lodging industry.
- A Village Board member.
- Two representatives for the tourism industry.
- The village president or village administrator who will serve as commission chairman, or their designee.
Except for the latter, each member’s term will be for one year, but members may serve multiple terms.
The Tourism Commission would contract with Real Racine, which would spend the money on tourism promotion and development.
The 25 percent of room taxes collected that are not allocated to the visitors bureau would be retained in the village’s general fund.
Village Administrator Mary Cole said the room tax ordinance would apply to any AirBnBs or other vacation rentals in the village “but it’s very hard to enforce.” She said such operators should register with the village, but she is not aware of any that might exist within village limits.
The ordinance is scheduled to have its second reading and possible adoption at the Village Board meeting on Dec. 4.
“Basically, we just wanted to be ahead of the game in case someday there is a hotel constructed.” Jayme Hoffman, Sturtevant village president