Butler County Times Gazette
  • Andover City Council votes to raise tax on hotel guests

  • The Andover City Council voted 6-0 on Tuesday night to raise the town’s transient guest tax from 5 percent to 6 percent. This tax is charged to all guests who stay at either of the town’s two hotels.
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  • The Andover City Council voted 6-0 on Tuesday night to raise the town’s transient guest tax from 5 percent to 6 percent. This tax is charged to all guests who stay at either of the town’s two hotels.
    “One of the hotel owners came to us and asked if we would consider this, saying that Andover’s tax on hotel guests is actually lower than other towns,” said Ben Lawrence, mayor of Andover.
    Lawrence said after the Andover Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) did a study, pulling data from the region, they found Andover was significantly lower than some other communities in Kansas.
    But according to the Kansas Department of Revenue, Andover is actually pretty close to all of its surrounding communities. Wichita, Maize, Park City, Haysville and Derby all have a transient guest tax of 6 percent. El Dorado and Augusta have a 5 percent tax. Other areas of Kansas have as low as 2 percent and as high as 9 percent.
    Lawrence said the guest tax in Andover has generated $90,000 to $100,000 a year for the past several years. The increase will add $15,000 to $20,000.
    “The transient guest tax funds the CVB,” said Sasha Stiles, Andover city administrator. “All of the money will be used to promote tourism, bringing visitors from outside the community, to Andover, to spend their money.”
    The CVB is currently in the preliminary planning stages of building an amphitheater in Andover Central Park.
    Tuesday night the city council also voted to spend $7,000 of the transient guest tax to hire a consulting firm to help put together a conceptual design for the structure. But Stiles said there are currently no plans to use the guest tax money to actually build the proposed amphitheater.
    “It is in the early planning stages,” said Stiles. “How it would be funded hasn’t even been discussed yet.”
    Last year, the City of Augusta had plans to raise its hotel guest tax from 5 percent to 6 percent and use the increase to develop a new hotel. To do this the city would have had to hold an election in order to change the ordinance on what the money could be spent on.
    The matter was dropped after citizens, concerned about the council having control over the hotel guest tax, circulated a petition against the measure.
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