by Sarah Curry
John Locke Foundation
April 29, 2014
Local and state officials from Haywood County, North Carolina have proposed a resolution that would increase the county’s occupancy tax by 50 percent. The additional tax rate would bring the County occupancy tax to 6 percent and would increase occupancy tax revenue by a projected $541,537 for fiscal year 2014-15, but the benefit of a tax increase would be very concentrated in one area, Maggie Valley, while the burden of the tax would be placed on the entire county’s lodging business sector. Uniform occupancy tax guidelines require that at least two-thirds of the tax proceeds must be used to promote travel and tourism in the county. Taxation is justified only for necessary purposes of government, but tourism promotion is not a necessary function of government since it is focused on benefiting one sector of the local economy. This function can be served best by the private sector.

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