Lodging tax on radar of Milaca leaders

milaca – Visitors to Milaca could soon find themselves funding the expenses of the Milaca Area Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber has asked the city of Milaca to explore implementing a lodging tax. The City Council gave City Manager Tammy Pfaff the green light to look into a lodging tax within the Milaca city limits.
In a July 17 letter to the Milaca City Council, chamber President Mark McBroom said the chamber would like to expand the role of its new executive director when hired. The chamber has been without a director since Rich Melvin left the position in June.
Expanding the director’s role would better serve the chamber members and the Milaca business community as a whole, according to McBroom.
“The city to this point has been a good partner with the chamber to reach their financial needs,” McBroom wrote. “As we go forward, we would appreciate some additional funding help to cover those needs.”
That’s where the proposed lodging tax comes in.
“Our understanding is that these new funds could be used for promoting business and tourism in and around the Milaca community,” McBroom wrote. The tax could help the chamber meet its needs, he said.
One advantage residents of Milaca would find with a lodging tax is that any revenue generated would likely not come from local residents. A lodging tax is a tax on people who come to Milaca and stay in hotel rooms – either at the Super 8, located at 635 10th Ave. SE or the Phoenix Hotel, located at 210 Highway 23 E.
The city has preliminarily discussed a 3 percent tax that would be levied upon guests at Milaca hotels.
The tax can bring in a sizable amount of revenue to a city like Milaca.
Pfaff, who worked in Aitkin until assuming the Milaca job this spring, presented Aitkin’s 2016 lodging tax figures to the City Council.
Like Milaca, Aitkin has two hotels or motels: the 40 Club Hotel and the Ripple River Motel. Combined, the two businesses generated more than $15,000 in revenue through the lodging tax.