Voters

(Glenwood) -- Mills County officials are asking rural residents to help lure a potential new business in the area.

Voters in the county's unincorporated areas go to the polls March 7th on a 7% hotel/motel tax. Mills County Economic Development Director Andrew Rainbolt tells KMA News residents living outside of Glenwood, Malvern and other incorporated cities or towns will decide whether to place a tax on hotel or motel rooms in the county. Rainbolt says the tax is proposed because of an immediate opportunity to land a hotel in the county.

"There's kind of an immediate opportunity to try to attract a hotel," said Rainbolt. "Part of doing that is creating some incentive. The hotel will create revenue through this tax, and we can use that to help incentivise that hotel."

While declining specifics, Rainbolt is the hotel is planned for an area somewhere along the Interstate 29 corridor. In addition, Rainbolt says the tax would serve as another tool in the toolbox for attracting tourists and economic development to the county.

"Fifty percent of all the revenue collected through this tax has to be used for either the construction, promotion, maintenance of tourism activities and property," said Rainbolt. "The idea is, we're going to be taxing people who come and visit our area, then using that to, in part, promote more people to come and visit the area."

Rainbolt says county officials have been trying to attract a hotel to the county for a long time.

"They've told me that they've heard from residents all across the county that we really need a hotel," he said, "so that when people come back or visit, or people who are passing through the area, we can one, have a nice place for them to stay, and then, two, we can create some more tax revenue through the people who are just passing through or visiting our community."

Rainbolt says most surrounding counties already have a similar tax in place. The referendum needs only a simple majority in order to pass.

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