Lodger’s taxes are often requested by well-connected owners of hotels, motels, and even campgrounds for the purpose of paying for advertising for the purpose of bringing tourists to town. Eddy County has had a lodger’s tax in place that was collected by the county but spent for the supposed benefit of the lodgers in the community. Then the lodgers decided that the tax money was not being used as efficiently as it could be — heaven forbid, government not using tax money efficiently — and that the businesses and community would benefit from eliminating the tax. A slam dunk, right?
Not so fast. The Eddy County Commission decided 3-2 to continue the tax, ignoring the pleas of those who supposedly benefit from the tax. The lesson here is not to ask for higher taxes, even if you think they will help your particular cause. After all, while you might think your industry or business will benefit from a particular program, once the tax is in place, you no longer have control.