Gering council repeals lodging tax
The Gering city council Tuesday night quickly repealed a four and a half percent lodging tax they had approved less than two months earlier to help fund a proposed regional sports and events complex.
With hardly any discussion the council voted seven to one to suspend the three readings of the new ordinance and then voted seven to one for the new law, which canceled the controversial tax.
Council member Rebecca Shields cast the lone no vote, maintaining the council needed to be visionary while noting other communities had similar taxes to pay for attractions that brought in a lot of visitors.
But Shields' colleague Larry Gibbs said the council had indeed "put the cart before the horse", believing Mayor Ed Mayo's claim the support for the tax from neighboring communities was there when it was not. The council had also heard adamant opposition from representatives of the two Gering motels, who felt they would lose business to their Scottsbluff counterparts if the tax was enacted only in Gering.
The council also tabled until their next meeting consideration of a request for proposals for a feasibility study on the regional sports complex. The council said technical corrections were needed in the RFP. The council also wants a section asking for an estimate on the cost for the study, including hourly charges and other fees. Mayo told the council there are six firms, regional and national, interested in doing the study.
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