Updated February 14, 2008: The February 19, 2008 Town Council Meeting will discuss and approve the granting of our tax dollars to multiple private organizations. Is this what Wickenburg residents want? If not, attend the meeting at Town Hall at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, February 19 and make your voice heard. Stop letting our tax dollars benefit a few private organizations and their private agendas.
I don’t know how many Wickenburg residents realize this, but the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce, which supposedly exists to support its paying members, regularly gets funding from the BBB taxes collected at Wickenburg restaurants, bars, and hotels.
How do I know this? I read the Agendas for upcoming BBB Oversight Committee Meetings. Here’s the January 30th meeting agenda:
The BBB Committee will meet on January 30, 2008 at 4:00 in the Council Chambers. Discussion will follow the agenda below:
A. CALL TO ORDER
B. ROLL CALL
C. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Approval of Minutes of Meeting on October 5, 2007
D. CALL TO THE PUBLIC
E. STAFF REPORTS
1. Reports On Funds In The BBB Account
F. OLD BUSINESS
G. NEW BUSINESS
1. Discussion / Possible Action Regarding The Request Of The Chamber For $25,000 For Marketing From The BBB Funds
2. Discussion / Possible Action Regarding The Request Of The Wickenburg Arts Organizations For $20,000 For Arts From The BBB Funds
H. REQUEST OF COMMISSION
Wickenburg’s BBB tax is one of the highest in the state. Every time you eat in a Wickenburg restaurant, stay in a Wickenburg hotel, or have a drink in a Wickenburg bar, you’ll pay up to 11.5% in taxes.
When this tax was approved by our Town Council, the people were told it would be used for downtown improvements. The goal was supposedly to make Wickenburg’s downtown area more appealing to visitors, so they’d stop and spend money there. This generated a huge outcry from restaurant owners who are not in the downtown area — after all, why should their overall prices be affected to benefit their downtown competition? But all of this was ignored and the tax continues to be collected.
But where does that tax money go? Apparently, quite a bit of it goes to the Chamber of Commerce, a private organization that is supposed to exist solely to benefit its members.
So not only has the town instituted a tax that increases consumer costs and potentially reduces business, but it funnels the tax money to a private organization.
How do you feel about this? Don’t tell me. Tell the BBB Committee during Wednesday’s meeting. It’s open to the public and it’s your opportunity to make your opinion heard.