I recently attended the Pocahontas County Commission meeting in which reallocation of our county Hotel Motel tax was discussed. This meeting was attended by many citizens from various civic organizations throughout the county.
Mr. Rebinski, speaking on behalf of the commission, stated that our county EMS service was on the brink of collapse and that he had devised a plan to fund this critical service by reallocating the Hotel Motel tax funding from existing recipients to provide funding of our EMS/Fire system. We heard testimony from many of our heroic EMS volunteers that they had been volunteering for 35+ years, and I commend them for this.
Our current and past County Commissioners should be ashamed of themselves for not doing the work and looking ahead and providing a proper EMS/Fire infrastructure support revenue vehicle in the past 35+ years!
The Hotel Motel tax was never intended to provide primary infrastructure funding. It was designed and created to enhance our citizens’, businesses’ and guests’ way of life here in Pocahontas County. History has proven that this tourism-based funding stream is not reliable in that some years it is rich in tourist spending dollars and other years it is very poor in tourist spending dollars.
The Hotel Motel tax recipients are also subject to this ebb and flow trend of tourist spending dollars and they receive a set percentage of this tax which is allocated by the County Commission.
Our County Commission has now literally become the strong-arm bully of the playground and going to take funding from civic organizations like our libraries and historical society and give it to others because they can and nobody can stop them.
This is wrong.
As a youth advocate, I challenge our County Commission to do the work and create proper primary infrastructure funding for our county EMS /Fire service and leave the Hotel Motel tax alone!