Motel Tax Issue Delayed

10-25-04 - A key question on the Bryan County ballot next week won’t count even if it passes. On Monday, county commissioners voided the motel tax question, after allegations that they violated the open meetings act when they placed it on the ballot.

Fearing a lawsuit could overturn it, county leaders decided to delay the question and consider a special election later on.

The county would be divided the 5% tax between the sheriff's department, the county jail, the county communications system, and tourism. Critics had said that was unfair since the motel industry would be footing the entire bill.

A judge will still decide if the commissioners were in violation of the open meetings act. That could result in criminal misdemeanor charges.