Legal description of hotel tax confusing to some

WICHITA, Kansas – There could be a new tax on the way to promote Wichita. A hotel tax of 2.75 percent is in the works and it could bring in another $2.5 million a year to Wichita tourism efforts.

“Wichita really needs this,” says City Council Member James Clendenin. “The hotel association people signed off on the idea; what amounts to a self tax. They want it.”

The tax would apply to any hotel in Wichita city limits with more than 50 beds. This week, a legal description of the proposed tax is being sent to all Wichita business owners.

Some say that legal description appears to be a little confusing, with 17 pages of legal description.

“Well, this is certainly very, very confusing,” says Wichita business owner Phil Quinn. “My wife got a copy and looked at it, looked at it again. It’s tough to follow.”

City officials say they have heard the complaints.

“I haven’t seen it, but I have gotten a couple of calls on it, though,” says Clendenin. “They’re mostly just complaining about the description about the boundaries.”

City officials point out there is a cover letter that comes with the Wichita Resolution No. 14-020. But they also say, perhaps, it could have been explained a little better.

“But it’s necessary,” explains Clendenin. “It’s necessary for a legal description. Everybody needs to know that it’s just the city limits of Wichita.”

Some Wichita business owners say it would be helpful, if it were easier to understand the legal boundary description.

“It’s always better in laymens terms when you are distributing something like this. This is a legal document that most people are not going to understand in my opinion,” said Phil Quinn, the owner of Docutronics.

The tax would come with some oversight, to make sure the money is spent in the right areas.

“There is all kinds of accountability, yes,” says Clendenin.

An 11-person panel will be appointed, by the mayor, to govern the spending of the money.

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