The Asheville Buncombe Hotel Association has developed a proposal for changes to the laws that govern the use of the occupancy tax in Buncombe County. The Executive Director of ABHA outlined the organization’s changes in an editorial in the Asheville Citizen Times on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
The following is a statement in response to ABHA’s proposal, from Gary Froeba, Chair of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority.
As the Chair of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA), I support the changes to the occupancy tax legislation that are proposed by the members of the Asheville Buncombe Hotel Association. I believe that the proposed changes are responsive to community and business needs and will provide exciting opportunities as we move forward together.
The occupancy tax singles out hotels and other lodging properties and is paid by our guests, the people who stay overnight in Buncombe County. It is invested for the betterment of our community and all of us who live here – it supports our local businesses, provides jobs, and generates tax revenue.
The BCTDA is a public authority with a public purpose. We are people who live here, work here, and have families here. We are appointed by the City and County to administer the proceeds of the tax under the requirements of state law.
I am proud of the work we do and the benefits of tourism that are essential to the economic vitality of Buncombe County. We also acknowledge that the growth of the region comes with many different challenges.
The amendments to the occupancy tax, if approved by the General Assembly, will provide new opportunities to apply the tax revenue to meeting some of those needs, and manage the impacts of tourism in a way that sustains and enhances quality of life for the people of Buncombe County.
Stephanie Brown, President & CEO of Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau, has also issued a statement regarding the Asheville Buncombe Hotel Association’s proposal.