Council takes first step to reduce bed tax

By Kimberly Gasuras - [email protected]

The elimination of a bed tax was one of many items on the Galion City Council’s agenda Tuesday evening.

The city has two bed taxes of three percent each and council passed the first reading of an ordinance to eliminate the city’s original bed tax.

“The money collected from this bed tax goes directly into the general fund. The other three percent bed tax is divided in half, with half going into the general fund and the other half going into a fund for convention and tourism,” said city law director Thomas Palmer.

Mayor Tom O’Leary said the elimination of one of the two bed taxes will allow the city to be more competitive in attracting people to a new hotel planned to be constructed at the corner of Brandt Road and Ohio 598.

“When one person is renting a room, the bed tax may not mean that much but when a group of people are renting 40 rooms, a six percent bed tax could make a huge difference,” O’Leary said.

The vote to approve the first reading of the bed tax legislation was unanimous although council member Shirley Clark was excused from the meeting due to illness.

In other business, council approved the first readings of three resolutions to appoint Clark as the council’s representative on the design review boards within the city.

An ordinance to amend 2016 appropriations that were passed in December was passed by council as an emergency. According to city auditor Brian Treisch, some corrections needed to be made after a mistake was found by the county auditor’s office.

The second reading of an ordinance to vacate an alley for Avita Health System near Galion Community Hospital was also approved.

A motion to change council rules that includes reducing the number of times council and committee meetings will be advertised in the newspaper was passed as an emergency.

The next council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the city municipal building.

By Kimberly Gasuras

[email protected]