Dear Editor,

The Hotel/Motel tax was passed in 2006 and generates more than $200,000 per year, being paid by overnight stays from people visiting Ada for business, pleasure or visiting friends and family.  From what I understand, the fundamental purpose of the tax was to promote Pontotoc County and to attract visitors to the area to spur local economic growth and to improve the Agri-Plex facility and the surrounding grounds.  The residents of Pontotoc County do not directly feel this tax and subsequently probably aren’t aware of the amount of revenue it generates.   In the 7 years the tax has been in place, a safe “guestimate” is that over $1 million dollars has been generated to be used to promote tourism and for improvements to the Agri-Plex.   I would believe that the majority of the county residents are not aware of how this money is being used to create tourism and what the short, mid and long range improvement plans are for the Agri-Plex.   This tax does not have an ending shelf life and will continue for years to come, again generating over $200,000 per year and possibly more.  I think the residents of Pontotoc County that supported and passed the Hotel/Motel tax would like to have an understanding of (1) where the money has been spent over the last 7 years, (2) what types of tourism venues are planned to attract more people to Ada and the surrounding area which will economically help local businesses, (3) what are the renovation plans for the Agri-Plex understanding that there is a continued revenue stream that can be used to leverage the cost for improvements, (4) what is the annual budget given to the Tourism Board to attract talent and venues to create tourism for Pontotoc County and (5) who is on the Tourism Board and do they regularly meet?

Jeff Warmuth



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