August 8, 2013

Publisher's Notebook: City undertakes another money grab

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — After using blackmail to extort a greater percentage of occupational tax revenues from the county, the City of London used another unsettling tactic Monday night to bolster its financial future: divorce.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time we took control of our own future,” London Mayor Troy Rudder said as the London City Council voted to establish its own tourism and convention commission.

With that, council members walked out on a relationship with the London-Laurel County Tourism Commission that, from their own admission, has been successful in making the area a prime tourist stop in Southeastern Kentucky.

And they didn’t even leave a message, a note on the wall or anything when they slammed the door.

At the same time as the council’s vote, Rodney Hendrickson was across town wrapping up a long, successful day coordinating a junior golf tournament at Crooked Creek that has brought about 500 families into London from all over the world.

He began getting texts and phone calls about the city’s vote which neither he, nor any other tourist commission member, knew anything about. Today, Hendrickson and tourism co-executive director Kim Collier are probably wondering if they’re going to have a job.

Rudder confirmed at this point the city has no plans to confiscate any of the three percent motel room tax currently funding the London-Laurel County Tourism Commission, which will leave that revenue in place and ensure the commission’s future. The folks over at the Wilderness Road Center will be glad to find that out.

The mayor said the city will fund its seven-member tourism commission internally at first, with the option of tacking on its own transient room tax at a later date, similar to what Somerset did a few months ago when it formed a tourism commission for that city. Hotels in Somerset are now paying a seven percent room tax.

Text Only
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results