Dear Editor,

In my last letter I discussed the fact that, unlike Lancaster and Athens, Logan doesn’t have a bed tax, and it could take two years to create one.

Since all six of the county’s hotels and numerous Air B & B’s are within the city of Logan, the commissioners are collecting hundreds of thousands of bed tax dollars in Logan and turning them over to the tourism group with very little guidance.

This lack of oversight has gotten so bad that the tourism group refuses to give the public a detailed report of how they are spending the yearly public tax money the commissioners are giving them! This yearly giveaway is approaching two million dollars.

This lack of oversight and guidance wasn’t always the case. When the tourism group was created, they had a detailed set of bylaws, and in order to receive the public’s money, they had a contract with the commissioners detailing how the money was to be spent. In addition, neither the bylaws nor the contract could be changed without the commissioners’ approval.

Little by little, over the years these rules were gutted, until we got to the current situation where we are told the public has no right to know how our money is spent. Another problem that needs to be addressed is the group’s requirement of membership. Why should a county resident or business owner be required to be a member in order to get a benefit from our own tax money?

Should one be required to be a member of the tourism group to advertise in our county’s yearly tourism guide, be listed on our county’s official tourism web site, or receive any other benefits offered by the group when the commissioners are giving them approximately two million dollars of the county’s tax money per year? Remember, our bed tax money can only be spent to benefit Hocking County residents. The commissioners have let these problems occur and they are the ones who must fix them.

Michael Nihiser

Logan

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