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Friday, June 21, 2024


April 10, 2001 – The Legislature rolled back the increase in the hotel room tax Tuesday and extended it to timeshare units.
In what appeared a reversal of roles, the Senate majority led the charge to repeal recent legislation that would have increased the hotel room occupancy rate from 8 percent to 10 percent. They received support from several minority senators.
Proponents noted the increase had been tied to legislation passed with the 2001 budget that would have created a semi-autonomous Tourism Authority. Gov. Charles W. Turnbull vetoed the portion of the legislation creating the authority but retained the tax increase.
Several senators indicated support for the authority, but Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd said, "I think the governor was right to veto" it. "There's a governor running this place."
Although he voted for the repeal of the tax increase, Sen. Vargrave Richards spoke in favor of it, saying that only one state — Maine — has a tax lower than 10 percent.
Sens. Adelbert Bryan, Donald "Ducks" Cole, Adlah "Foncie" Donastrog, Carlton Dowe, Alicia "Chucky" Hansen, Emmett Hansen II, Liburd, Norma Pickard Samuel, Douglas Canton and Vargrave Richards voted for the repeal.
Alicia Hansen attempted to amend the bill to override the veto of the Tourism Authority but got support only from Donastorg.
Later she shepherded through a separate bill to extend the 8 percent tax to timeshare units. She noted that hospitality industry leaders had come out in support of the tax.

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