Town of Lexington officials propose hospitality tax to pay for r - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Town of Lexington officials propose hospitality tax to pay for road improvement plan

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

Officials in the town of Lexington are looking to improve traffic flow downtown and in surrounding areas. Meanwhile, the issue of how to pay for it is raising concerns.
 
This proposal is for the newest phase of the “Vision Plan,” which was adopted in May 2012. It has included projects such as the Lexington Farmers Market and Lexington Square Park.

This phase’s proposal includes cross road improvements at Lake Drive and Sunset Blvd. It also includes gateway improvements at Corley Mill at Sunset Blvd. But, with little money available at the federal or state level, town officials said the projects would have to be funded through a two-percent hospitality tax.
 
One store owner says it could be a burden for some.

"You have a lot of folks who are on fixed income, especially the elderly, the retirees. And that two percent makes a difference, especially
on the folks who have a limited amount of money to work with," said Ted Stambolitis, a council member and owner of the Flight Deck Restaurant.

Town officials said this is a better alternative to a property tax because the burden is spread out. It wouldn’t be placed solely on Town of Lexington residents.

 "We feel like the hospitality tax is the best way to implement a tax which is fair to all citizens and anybody who is passing through town that's eating or drinking at a restaurant or a fast food establishment. That tax is going to be put on them and not just specifically to our citizens," said Jennifer Dowden, the Media and Events Coordinator for the town of Lexington.
 
The town is holding a Public Education Session on Monday, August 24th at 6 p.m.

The final reading of the proposal and public hearing are scheduled for Tuesday, September 8th.

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