Martin passes restaurant tax
by Jack Latta
MARTIN — The city of Martin is continuing to widen the net of its revenue stream by approving a restaurant tax last week.
In an effort to find more revenue to cover the cost of some of the city’s parks and tourism ventures, the city held its second reading last week on a 3 percent restaurant tax to go into affect after July.
The city of Prestonsburg enacted such an ordinance over two decades ago and has since created a thriving tourism board, which has helped support the Mountain Arts Center, Stonecrest, Highlands Folk Festival and the Battle of Middle Creek, and Jenny Wiley Festival. Martin city officials are hoping that the increase of focused revenue can also improve their parks and festivals.
In conjunction with the tax, the council also passed an ordinance creating a tourism board to be made up of seven members, for the purpose of promoting recreation and tourism activity in the city. The commission will be funded by the city of Martin, through the revenue generated by the restaurant levy.
According to the ordinance, three commissioners will be appointed through the hotel and motel association of the county, one from the restaurant association, one from the local chamber of commerce, and two by appointment from the mayor. Members of the commission will serve without compensation.
The commission shall meet monthly in a regular session at the Martin city hall, and a majority will constitute a quorum. The ordinance also states that the commission shall be annually audited by an independent auditor.
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