Southwest Iowa News

AUDUBON — A pair of public measures were on the ballot in the Audubon and Shelby County areas asking residents to put in place or increase a hotel/motel tax — in the city of Audubon, and in Elk Horn — and both passed.

In Audubon, the measure passed 121 “yes” votes to 79 “no” votes. The new hotel/motel tax, set at 7 percent, will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and will raise revenue for cultural and other projects for the city.

By state statute, half of the funds raised will go to culture and recreation, while the other half can go to any purpose permitted by law.

In Elk Horn, the measure passed 53 “yes” votes to 7 “no” votes and raised the current hotel/motel tax from 5 percent to 7 percent.

The current tax had been in place since 2010, and city officials just wanted to increase it. In Elk Horn, 67 percent goes to tourism and promotion, with the balance going to “any lawful use.”

In both cases, hotel/motel taxes only affect individuals who stay in the hotels or motels in the community.