Travel Council Opposes Tax for Airport Expansion

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COLUMBIA - Support for the expansion of the Columbia Regional Airport has been positive, yet not everyone agrees it should be funded by an increase in hotel and motel taxes.  Missouri Travel Council along with the Columbia Hospitality Association do not support the 3 percent increase of the already 4 percent hotel tax. 

Michael Kelly is the General Manager of Stoney Creek Inn.  He says one organization shouldn't be solely responsible for the airport expansion.  "This should be a community endeavor. It should truly be everybody because everybody will benefit by a better airport," said Kelly.

City officials say the proposed 7 percent tax will increase funds more than $2.5 million.  Since the expansion project is estimated to be $17 million, officials believe this is a good option for the city.

Hotel officals are meeting with the chamber task force to propose other options for the funding.  "We want to be a part of it, but we shouldn't be the whole part," said Kelly.