Cherokee County’s voters will vote on a four percent lodging tax that will be used to market the area to tourists.
Gena McPhail, Tahlequah Tourism Director, hopes voters will see this not as a tax on people living in the area, but as a tax that mainly affects visitors and tourists who own a hotel, cottage, bed and breakfast or rent a yurt in the county.
“If you rent any type of lodging, you will be charged this lodging tax just like you would in any other county in the United States,” McPhail said.
Tahlequah already has a four percent housing tax within city limits, and McPhail said twelve other counties in the state have a similar tax.
McPhail said most of the money would be used to promote Cherokee County with visitors.
“We can market Sequoyah State Park and market anything that is on the lake or river.”
75 percent of the tax would be used for advertising marketing, while 25 percent would be used for beautifying the county.
“We have a terrible rubbish problem in the county. If you just drive down the street you can see the trash everywhere. “
That 25 percent will be used for roadside beautification, additional garbage collection programs, and educational programs to teach youth about the importance of a cleaner environment.
“Teach our children the importance of not throwing their rubbish out the window or throwing it directly outside. We take care of our county, ”said McPhail.
And if the leaders plan to market the county nationally, McPhail will start with a cleaner county.
The polls open next Tuesday at 7 a.m.