By Meagan Hurley, Editor-In-Chief
At the council meeting on Monday, Sept. 22, Waleska city officials spoke in reference to their attempted imposition of a hotel/motel taxation ordinance on resident students at Reinhardt. In a statement issued by Mayor Doris Jones, the council explained that the city is waiting on a current ruling from the Georgia Attorney General before any further action may be taken.
Mayor Jones stated, “I am coming up to speak to you tonight on the subject of the lodging ordinance and the fees. The option was presented and encouraged by the Department of Community Affairs at the Georgia Municipal Association convention and the city was looking into the possibility. Apparently it’s a gray area of the law. However, the city is not taking any further action on the issue until we receive direction from the Attorney General’s office, which the Georgia Municipal Association is obtaining.”
City Manager Aimee Abernathy later commented that the Attorney General’s office has not provided the city with any timeline for the decision.
Abernathy also stated that, while no college in the state of Georgia has attempted the ordinance, other states have been successful.
SGA President Alexander Bryant was present at the meeting. He issued the following statement:
“I believe the meeting went extremely well. I believe it was very civil and reasonable dialogue and I think both sides are much better informed now. However, my position is still the same. I still oppose [the taxation] on behalf of the students and the university.”
He added, ”I believe it is not a beneficial policy, not so much for its temporary effects on Reinhardt, but for the precedent it makes for the state of Georgia.”
For more information regarding the hotel/motel taxation, visit the Georgia Department of Community Affairs website. City council members encourage questions. Meetings are held the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month at city hall.