Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Cookeville Asking State To Allow Lodging Tax

State lawmakers will consider allowing Cookeville to levy a 3-percent hotel-motel tax.

Legislation prevents cities from implementing the tax, but Cookeville City Manager Mike Davidson said lawmakers might exempt Cookeville from the law.

“In recent years the General Assembly has authorized many cities across the state to adopt a hotel-motel tax where a county has already adopted that tax,” Davidson said. “The general assembly has capped that rate at 10-percent.”

Putnam County has already levied a 7-percent lodging tax, meaning Cookeville will request a 3-percent tax rate.

Councilman Charles Womack said he supported the tax as it could help promote tourism.

“The three things Cookeville has is our location on the interstate, Tennessee Tech, and our scenic beauty,” Womack said. “We need funding for the chamber and other things to help promote tourism.”

Revenue generated from the tax would be earmarked for economic development and tourism purposes.

If approved by lawmakers, Cookeville Council would look to implement the tax later this year.

“That would have to be done by ordinance and require two-thirds vote by the city council,” Davidson said. “That’s something the state has been requiring in these exemptions.”

The total tax on a hotel room in the city would be 19.75 percent combined with sales taxes if the proposal were to be implemented later this year.

The General Assembly will consider Cookeville’s requests later this year.