Bexley News

City puts bed excise tax on the books

Having recently given the go-ahead for Bexley's first bed and breakfast, which is scheduled to open next spring, the city has adopted a hotel/motel/bed-and-breakfast tax to generate revenue from such developments.

Bexley City Council approved Ordinance 32-13 at its Aug. 27 meeting. Richard Sharp, chairman of council's finance committee, said he introduced the legislation in June without knowing about the application for the new bed and breakfast at 519 S. Drexel Ave.

The ordinance will allow Bexley to collect a 3-percent excise tax and up to an additional 3-percent tax levied on transactions on sleeping accommodations at bed and breakfasts, hotels and motels.

Sharp had initially proposed that 50 percent of revenue be set aside in a newly-created "Senior Citizen Activity Center Account" to promote activities for older adults.

Other council members, however, agreed the revenue should go into the general fund to be used at the city's discretion.

"My issue is not with seniors," Councilman Tim Madison said, giving his reason. "I don't want to hamstring future councils."

On Aug. 13, council approved plans for the bed and breakfast at 519 S. Drexel Ave. by granting a variance for applicants Michael and Lesli Mautz to convert an existing multi-family property. The Mautzes said they plan to work with the city's development officials on design plans, including adding seven parking spaces in the rear of the property and installing landscaping to screen the parking from neighbors.

-- Chris Bournea