Dear Editor,

I believe if our city and county are to grow and prosper, we need to correct some problems in our tourism bed tax systems.

In 2020 the county and townships, as a group, collected $3 million. Let’s look at the situation in the city. Logan doesn’t have a 3% bed tax like they have in each township. Green and Falls townships, which are within the city corporation limits, collect bed tax from the city’s air B&B’s, but provide no services, such as snow removal, policing, lights, sewer, or water.

An interesting side note is that air B&B’s located in zoned residential areas are in violation of the city zoning code. Looking at our hotels, we find that all six of them are located both in the city and in Falls Township. The city provides all the services, but only collects half the bed tax from the Holiday and Sleep Inns. In 2020, this amounted to $52,242.07. This money went into the city’s general fund, which I believe should be earmarked for downtown revitalization.

This unusual arrangement of splitting the bed tax was created by a contract (expiring in 2025) the city of Logan signed with Falls Township. I think this arrangement was mandated because the residents of Logan vote for the township trustees but get no services from them and the fact that the city has no bed tax. When I checked with Lancaster, Athens, and Columbus, they told me they had never heard of such an arrangement. They all have a city and county bed tax. Columbus has a 3% city, county, and township bed tax, plus a 1.5% convention tax — a total bed tax of 10.5%!

I did check with the Ohio Secretary of State, and I was told that Logan might have to change their city charter as outlined in chapter 10 of the Ohio Revised Code to allow them to enact their own city bed tax. This would allow them to collect what is needed for the city to grow and prosper! Next time we’ll discuss the county’s situation.

Michael Nihiser


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