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Last step in tax hike goes to Gainesville City Council May 21
City of Gainesville Administrative Building1.jpg

Gainesville’s hotel-motel tax increase has been approved by Gov. Brian Kemp, so now the final step is changing the city ordinance, on which the Gainesville City Council will vote on Tuesday.

On March 19, the council unanimously agreed to submit legislation to the Georgia General Assembly to increase the tax on hotel rooms in the city from 6% to 8%. It was approved by the state legislature on April 2, the last day of this year’s session. The Tuesday vote will change the local ordinance, allowing the tax increase to go into effect.

Officials want to use the extra funds to pay for capital improvements at Lake Lanier Olympic Park, including boathouse renovations, pavilions and restrooms.

Kemp has also approved the annexation of Lake Lanier Olympic Park in to the city, City Manager Bryan Lackey said Thursday. That will allow the city to take over operations of the park, which it had been sharing with Hall County.

The hotel-motel tax was last increased in 2001, when it went from 5% to 6%. Gainesville makes between $800,000 and $900,000 from the tax each year, and most of the funds are used for the Gainesville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Reimbursement for water main at Braselton building  

The council will also vote on a city reimbursement for a developer who increased the size of a water main at the city’s request.

Foresight LLC, which built the Riverstone Medical Plaza on Friendship Road in Braselton, increased the size of the water main extension for the development from eight to 12 inches. Gainesville Water Resources had requested that the water main be enlarged to comply with the department’s master plan for Friendship Road.

The developer spent about $33,000 extra to increase the size. A city ordinance requires the city to reimburse developers for improvements the city requests that are beyond what the specific development would need.

If approved, the developer would receive $33,190.07 from the Department of Water Resources fund as a reimbursement.

Gainesville Water Resources serves much of Hall County, including properties outside city limits.

Gainesville City Council

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21

Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway

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