(Asheville Citizen-Times) Annual taxes collected from Buncombe County hotels is expected to grow 7% to $25 million by the end of June, marking a continued boom in area tourism. The increase, calculated from tax statements, comes at a time of continued tension between hotel owners touting tourism’s economic benefits and residents questioning the public benefits of the burgeoning industry.
First created in 1983, the hotel tax has grown from 2 cents to 6 cents on the dollar. It’s charged on top of the 7-cent sales tax. The revenue is controlled by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, an appointed body of hoteliers and representatives from other parts of the tourism industry.
The tax revenues climbed from $23.4 million last fiscal year to the projected $25.1 million. But also growing is pushback from residents and elected officials who say revenues should go to public services rather than growing tourism.